Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Raining Leaves

There is a giant oak tree in our back yard that creates a pleasant space of coolness in the summer, away from the blazing sun.  It is a Willow Oak and was estimated by someone who should know to be about 300 years old.  I have no clue as to its age, I just know that it is very big. 

As you look up into its massive branches it is difficult to realize how large it truly is.  I hung a rope over the lowest limb last summer to make a swing for my grandkids.  I tied a hammer to the end of the rope and threw it as hard as I could in order to get the rope over the limb.  After several tries I was able to work the rope so that the weight of the hammer would drag it over.  It was barely heavy enough to do so.  It took almost 25 feet of rope to reach from the ground to the limb.

When it rains excessively as in this part of the country it is sometimes prone to do, the weight of the water in the limbs creates the risk of them breaking and falling.  In the brief time we have lived here, two have poked holes in the roof and one fell on a patio chair and crushed it.  The task of keeping the twigs and other debris cleared from the yard is continuous.

The tree is home to numerous squirrels.  It is enjoyable to watch them scampering around on the branches.  Sometimes there will be 4 or 5 of them playing chase along the limbs high up in the canopy.  Last year there was a nest in a hole where a limb once grew many years ago and which is now hollow.  It was interesting to view the young squirrels as the developed and ventured forth from their snug home.

The leaves have started turning color on the tree.  It is a mixture of yellows and greens and tans.  Today, as the rain falls and the breeze stirs the branches, the most advanced of the changing leaves are turning loose and helicoptering to the ground.  It is a literal torrent of leaves falling and yet, looking up into the soaring branches, it is difficult to tell that there are any fewer than there were weeks ago.

Oh, the labors of Fall.....

1 comment:

ozarkmountain homegrown said...

Sounds like an awesome tree! Also sounds like you have your work cut out for you! Better get busy!