Now that the weather is getting warmer with the coming of spring, we have started exploring our woods and getting to know the land that is now ours.

Our house sits on about an acre of land, most of which, stretching back in a narrow plot behind the house, is wooded. The trees in our woods seem to be mostly oak with a scattering of pine. To judge from the dead leaves on the ground, we seem to have two different types of oak; one has a spindly, angled leaf, the other a fuller, rounder leaf. I’ve looked at some tree guides, but so far I’m not confident of having identified any types. We also have a couple of examples of another evergreen tree, something with fine needles and reddish bark that seems to naturally peel off in long, shaggy strips—possibly a variety of juniper or something related. To judge from the leaves on the ground, it looks like we have a few maples mixed in, which delights me: maybe some spring we’ll try tapping a maple and making some syrup.

Around the property there are also some flowering pear trees planted by the builder. They are all very small at this point, but they seem to be healthy so we should see them starting to grow this spring and summer. In the surrounding woods we can see a few birch trees, which E. likes. We may try to get a few to take root on our land as well.

The trees are just starting to show leaf buds, hard little nodules studding the twigs and branches. In the next few weeks I’m sure we will see things start to emerge. Living in New York City all those years I always felt so disconnected from nature. There were parks and trees planted along the sidewalks, but that’s no substituted for woods growing wild and fresh air. It is wonderful now to be able to watch the changing of the seasons in our own back yard.


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