I wish I could name some names but I’m no master gardener, not a naturalist or an arborist. I’m a walker who loves trees, who loves watching the leaves stretch from branches that look dormant and forever void of life. As my dog and I walk the blocks around our neighborhood, or the dirt trails along the local creek, my eyes gather the changes from the day before. A relationship is forming between me and these trees. I’m starting to feel remiss in not knowing their names.
This isn’t a new feeling for me. I have favorite vacation spots that I return to regularly. One of them Lake Tahoe. In that basin there are different types of pine trees. I know there is the ponderosa, the sugar and the Jeffrey but I couldn’t tell you which was what. It’s like knowing your sister’s kids names but not identifying who is who. It’s embarrassing. And it’s not like I haven’t tried. Every time I go, I look them up. Every time I leave, I forget. But I still love them. The same with my trees at home. For that matter, many of the flowers of the area and let’s not even talk about the birds.
Does it mean that I love them any less because I can’t name them? No. But I’m going to keep trying. This week I identified the buck-eye tree. I couldn’t help but watch the elegant fanning out of its leaves, such a contrast to its unattractive seed–the buckeye. I also identified the fragrant red quince. I’m going to name some names even if it’s just one at a time.