After a wonderful trip to New York with my husband, Tim, I returned home to find the first handful of holiday cards, including the official greeting from The White House. When I pulled the card from the envelope, I was a tad disappointed to see its formal style, especially since last year’s card featured First Dog, Bo, marching through snow on the South Lawn.
The surprise was on me, however, when I raised the front of the card to find the magic inside…
Lucky me! I’m in NYC with Tim, who’s attending a JDRF Board Meeting. Today was spent in Midtown, enjoying the holiday windows and decorations, as well as the excitement at 30 Rock, where the Christmas tree will shine in glory tonight.
If you don’t know the story of my home, here it is in a nutshell…
After raising two sons, my husband, Tim, and I decided to abandon the suburbs for a new life-style. All was well until we realized I thought we were heading downtown, while he was planning a move to the country. Luckily, we found a happy compromise—a house on a quiet street across the Reedy River from a golf course, just minutes from Main Street, but with expansive, park-like views from our back windows.
These windows offer a treehouse overlook at the adjacent woodland, as well as the river and the nearby fairways, presenting an amazing kaleidoscope of the seasons. Yesterday morning, however, something new caught my eye. While the bald cypress trees directly across the river are well known to me, I spied other deciduous conifers just a short distance upriver. So, after eating too much Thanksgiving turkey, we hiked over to the golf course to explore.
As you can see in the photo below, there are two species of trees. The russet needles on the five trees on the far side of the river are lighter in color than the needles on the single conifer adjacent to the footbridge.
Here is a close-up comparison. The lighter needles are flat and opposite, meaning they pair-up on the petiole (leafstalk) like a capital Y. The darker needles are more random, smaller, in a pattern that nearly alternates.
There are other differences too. The trunks of the five trees are more fluted and their bark is rough and varied in color, while the bark on the single tree is smoother and more even toned. The biggest difference, as you can see below, is in the size and shape of their cones.
Can you name these trees?
If not, you can find the answer below the photo of my hiking companions, Tim and our (almost) miniature dachshunds, Bella and Rudy.
The five deciduous conifers with the lighter, flat needles are dawn redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides).
The single tree is a bald cypress (Taxodium distichum).
Here’s a dozen reasons why…
A favorite the world over, Japanese maple trees are treasured for their striking beauty and rich colors. Associated with balance and serenity, they are called “kito” in the Japanese language, which means “calm,” “rest” or “at peace.” In Asia, planting a Japanese maple tree in the garden symbolizes the welcoming of autumn as a friend.
I think I’ll add another to my garden. What about you?