As I sat in the line of cars waiting to enter the gate at the Morton Arboretum this afternoon, I thought, "Well, this probably wasn't my most brilliant idea." But driving out to the arboretum on one of the loveliest Sundays in autumn helped me to discover a hidden gift: the prairie. I've never walked the whole expanse of the prairie--it's usually the last thing I do at the arboretum. But today, I spent several hours and it made my afternoon.
No branches, no twigs stir in the breeze these nights. In spring, however, we'll break ground for another tree. Until then, I hope the squirrels and the birds can make do with the grapevine to keep them fed and safe this winter.
It seemed appropriate this afternoon that when the tree men came to take down my lovely apple tree, my camera sent me a message that the memory card was full. I got this one image, but better maybe to remember all the other photos I've taken of this wonderful tree--a tree that sheltered us for 24 wonderful years, gave us white blossoms wafting through the air in the spring and tons and tons of green apples for the squirrels and bunnies and mice to eat in the fall. I want to remember the sheer happiness of laying on the couch on the back porch in the summer, looking out at the branches as the sun danced between the limbs, marveling at the birds and the squirrels that this tree sheltered.Those are the memories I'll treasure.