November 17, 2013
I walk by our Sweet Gum tree each morning when I leave for work and each evening when I return home. Often I have something on my mind and have to make myself stop and look at how beautiful this tree is, particularly in the fall.
Hauled home in the trunk of our car several years ago and planted by my wife and her dad on our little terra firma, it is now a hulking behemoth belying how it got there.
The tree is home to a bird house and a smorgasbord of all things seed and liquid refreshment. Red birds and Chickadee's are frequent occupants along with the occasional enterprising squirrel (if seed can be had -- they'll find a way to get it).
The color is accentuated by a brisk breeze that brings back memories when we (by our account) lived outdoors and visited our home for mandatory meals and sleep.
We turned every chore into a game of amusement park quality. Assigned the task of raking leaves we piled them high for our 'run and jump' or 'hide in the pile' rides. And if my memory serves me correctly I believe we even incorporated a swinging rope from a nearby tree (for the swing and drop ride). When we were done we lit the whole thing (after first making sure there was no one playing 'hide in the pile' -- we were carefree but not irresponsible).
I miss the smell of burning autumn leaves.
DID YOU KNOW
"Trees 'inherit' their fall colors, just as we inherit the color of our hair. The color depends on how much iron, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium are in the tree and the acidity of the chemicals in the leaves!"
- Courtesy of a sign at Silver Dollar City