Wednesday, May 11, 2016

it only comes once a year

Fagus grandifolia

"American beech"

Leaf-out is always a deeply inspiring time of year for me,
and beech leaf-out is one of my favorite miracles.

Beech is one of my favorite hardwoods anyway, at any season and at all stages of its life. I love every shade of every color in the leaves, and the cool, smooth grey of the boles and branches.

I love the way some of the leaves will remain on beeches throughout Autumn and Winter, dried and shaped by the prevailing winds until the entire tree takes on a sculptural quality. On a calm Winter's day without a breath of a breeze, the beech still appears to be in motion. It's a brilliant artistic collaboration between the trees and the wind.

And it's all beginning again, right now.
Right this minute.
Once it begins, beech leaf-out happens very quickly.


I am so glad I had the chance to see it again.

These pictures are all from a couple of young beech saplings, about ten feet tall, that I saw on my walk with Piper this morning. The black flies are terrible right now, so this was the only time I stood still for more than a few seconds; the rest of our walk was at a fairly steady pace.

It was apparently exhausting.

Well...not really. I'd like to pretend I walked so far and so fast that I wore Piper out, but in fact this Extreme Nap was the result of the big lunch she had when we got home.


  1. Long appreciative post vanished but thank-you for the beech portraits.

  2. I do love the beech, in all seasons but most in winter when the shadows fall on the grey smooth trunk. And the constant movement of the leaves. Ah this is the post that was lost and now is found!

  3. What cool leaves - I love that they leaf out the way that they do, instead of like the trees around here that just have buds that grow into individual leaves! Nap well deserved, Piper girl!!!

  4. I don't believe I've ever seen a beech tree at this stage of life - not many of them around this area unfortunately.

  5. Piper! LOL Love the beech trees. I don't think we have them around here.

  6. Gorgeous photos! You are a really good photographer. The picture of Piper is a perfect nap photo. lol

  7. Beautiful photos! Piper looks so cute :)

  8. Dear Piper, give her a special hug from Aunty Kath.

  9. Cool pictures! I haven't seen any beech trees on our property but now I'm going to be looking closer

  10. Quinn, are you familiar with Buzz Off, Bug Off, etc.? I have a bandana and tee shirts with pyrethrums that keep biting insects at bay. Good stuff.

  11. Hi Sandra - I honestly can't remember the last time I bought work clothes - which is really all my clothes these days - from anywhere but a thrift shop. Every day I use non-toxic sprays on myself and the goats and Piper, but nothing works 100%. Biting bugs are just a part of life here in the woodsy northeast. They are the part that tightens your jaw ;)


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