Honoring Earth Week: Monday, Old and New

Beech trees are not as magnificent as oaks nor as splendid as maples. But they have one thing going for them that neither oaks nor maples have and that would be leaves that last all through the winter. Beech leaves in winter are, of course, not green. Instead, they are pale, and they rustle and rattle when the wind blows.


Beech leaves finally fall in the spring, but there are some that are still hanging from the trees in the woods behind our house. If you look closely in the above picture, you can see new buds forming on the branches. Soon the old leaves will fall to the ground to become part of the rich soil that nourishes the trees.

This next picture of our patio is not exactly of the natural world, but I couldn’t resist posting it. (Anyway, the beech leaves fulfilled my self-imposed requirement of each day posting a nature picture during Earth Week.)


We have never had the patio entirely set up by Earth Week. Heck, some years there is still a line of snow in the backyard in mid-April. We usually aim to have everything out by mid-May, but yesterday the day was so fine—70Β°—that we couldn’t resist bringing up the big table, the rest of the chairs, and the citronella torches from down cellar.

From now until early fall, the patio will be our second living room, and although it is not of nature, it does put us in nature. As the trees in the picture indicates, the woods are not very far away, and when we sit on the patio, we see and hear many of the creatures who live there.

Yesterday, we were treated to a beautiful bird symphony. How the finches, cardinals, chickadees, tufted titmice, and nuthatches sang, their voices merging together to become a joyous song of spring. Their sweet song was punctuated by the percussion of the woodpeckers—Hairy, downy, pileated, and the most recent arrival to central Maine, the red-breasted woodpecker.

A hairy woodpecker (I think!) taking time out from percussion to grab a bite to eat.


To borrow from Mozart, what a delight this is you cannot imagine. Or maybe you can. I suspect many readers of this blog love birds just as much as I do and listen eagerly for their song of spring.

Yesterday, after doing yard work, Clif and I celebrated by having drinks and nibbles on the patio. After a long winter of being inside, how good it was to be there, and we are looking forward to many more days and nights on the patio.

Come, spring, come.


14 thoughts on “Honoring Earth Week: Monday, Old and New”

  1. Yay!! So glad that you were able to get all the patio furniture out. It’s looking like Spring out there!! πŸ™‚

    1. Shannon, it really does. It’s quite remarkable. Do you remember how you always wished for the snow to be gone by your birthday. Well, this year it certainly is.

      1. It’s a good wish to have every year and not always fulfilled! I’m glad that it is for you guys even if I’m not there to enjoy it!! πŸ™‚

      2. Shannon, this year it is fulfilled in spades. The grass even has a tinge of green. Ironic you are not here to enjoy it.

  2. Dining al fresco is the best! We brought our set up to the deck yesterday and had our lunch and dinner there. And today’s beautiful weather allowed all three meals outside. So thrilled!
    All the screens are up and the windows open to allow the fresh air in – heavenly! I can’t wait until they can be open 24/7, but that’ll be a while yet. πŸ™‚

  3. The birds have been singing up a storm here too. I haven’t seen the red-breasted woodpecker here yet, although we have all the others. I’m keeping a lookout. This weekend was so lovely, I could hardly stand to be inside at all.

    1. The red-breasted woodpecker is a very recent arrival in central Maine—only in the past year or two. Now, we have at least two in the woods behind our house. It’s great to have something other than ticks migrate north πŸ˜‰ Yes, a lovely weekend with more lovely days to come.

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