I’ve long loved trees.
When I was a kid, I can remember trying to decide which I preferred: deciduous or conifer.
Well, deciduous are great because they sprout tiny leaves that grow into bigger leaves, change from green to gold or red or brown, and then fall to regrow in just a few (not that short) months.
But conifer. Conifer remain. Sun. Rain. Sleet. Wind. They are Always. Smell so good against a bright, clean expanse of snow. And pinecones! Who doesn’t love pinecones?
Aside from some weird seemingly in-betweens (looking at you, juniper; what ARE you, yew?) for which I couldn’t always identify the correct team (scientists could tell you, I bet, should you distract ’em long enough from the argument about camels), I decided deciduous and conifer had a pretty good competition going on. Satisfying in that winless way.
All these years later, I haven’t truly picked a side. Though I have favorites, like a pin oak at the edge of a church parking lot near where I live, and the Arboretum pines.
They take twenty minutes to a half hour to reach, walking, but worth it! The pines, and firs, and weird in-betweens can be found just over Bussey Hill. A collection of big, stout, expansive, narrow, prickly, soft, smooth and otherwise not-yet-discovered (by me). When I have the spare hour, I wander to see what’s new, to smell sap and tar and soil. To discover what I’d forgotten since my previous visit.