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Spring Tree Watercolor by Leonore Russell

One cold spring day in New Hampshire, an art teacher said to me, “look at the trees in the spring. At first they look bare, but then you will see a brownish-magenta haze on the tips of the branches. Slowly, this haze becomes more vibrant and then in a week or so, the tree is covered with a yellow–green haze. Then a solid green emerges, almost a blue green, settles on the maples in July.” The teacher then said, “ this is the reverse of what happens in the fall. The fall colors change from green, to yellow, to orange, to red, to brown and finally they fall and disappear.” 

Since then, I have watched this slow motion reflection of the rainbow grow in the spring in all pastel colors, to brilliant primary colors in the warm months moving to late fall. This is best seen on drives where the outlines of the trees are visible against the blue sky, but it happens in the backyard as well. It has engaged me and my family on many spring road trips!


Trees are signals of hope. Their branches reach to the sky, grace the earth and reach across streets to another tree. They are social and are known to send nutrients through their roots to an ailing neighboring tree. They drink in CO2 and exhale not just oxygen, but a fine cooling mist; the trees create shade. The air in the shade of a tree can be up to 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding sunny space. Legends characterize trees, especially large ones, as memory keepers of the place. A swing hanging from a tree branch is a favorite of many a child. Who doesn’t love a tree house?

Whether is it the amazon rainforest, or a tree seen from your bedroom window, trees give to the web of nature living under their boughs. Trees are benefactors for human life on earth. It’s not too late to plant one now. Just be sure to keep it watered the first year.  

Until Next Time,

Your Friends at Crossroads Farm

Staff Book Pick

Hidden Life of Trees : What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben

"Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben ... makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on ... scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers"--Dust jacket flap.

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