Its hard not to notice – whether you’re taking a ride out in the Coulees, walking in the marsh, hiking in the woods, driving down Losey Blvd. with the bluffs right there, or even as I arrive home, driving into my own driveway, the color of the leaves on the trees are just magnificent.

I even caught myself bragging to a relative in New England, where leaf viewing is rated so highly.  “You should see the leaves here this year!”

But, of course , what can you expect from me?  As quite a few people know, I am a genuine tree lover.  I love bark, sticks, branches, logs, and often find a “gift” of an interesting stick or branch left on my desk at work, with a note –
“thought you might appreciate this”, and I always do.

We had a very tall, wide, shady tree in our side yard when I was growing up.  It had huge roots that spread above ground all around it.  It was the perfect place to play – to make little pretend worlds and villages and drive toy cars around. I think that was probably where my tree affection began.  I can still imagine the way the bark felt – rough yet warm to the touch – a tree hugger in the making was I.

Early experiences with the natural world are so significant for children.  We live in nature’s paradise here – every season offering special effects – at our doorsteps – for free.  It is up to us as parents to open those doors and our eyes and observe and share with our children, these gifts of awe and wonder.

Thank you, October for this technicolor display!


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