I have enough dead ashes in my woodland to supply all the firewood I will need for the rest of my life. But when foresters and landscapers tell me to kiss the white ash goodby, I lead them by the nose into my woods. Right along the path to the barn, there are two patches of ash seedlings – scores of them. I exchange greetings with them several times a day. They are my good friends. The tallest of them is about five feet now, growing slowly in the partial shade, the top sprig nipped off last winter by a deer, but none the worse for it. It is three years old and still only the diameter of my finger. Obviously it is not yet old enough to interest a borer. It will take six to eight years anyway for these seedlings to reach borer-food size, during which time the borers, running out of bigger ashes, will start to starve. I hope.
Another thing I tell myself over and over and have voiced once or twice to David, also, is that I’m glad I started noticing the fall colors of the ash trees a few years back. What if I’d not been aware of them, if their glory had vanished and I’d never known it?
But according to Logsdon, it is not too late. If there are no tall, stately ash trees adding their fall color to October’s landscape, look carefully along the roadsides and around the edges of the woods. Look for the whippersnappers. Those little darlings! In time – we may hope, along with Logsdon – they will be tall, stately trees themselves.
Look to the young of our own species, too, for when we are gone, it will be their world. What kind of world will they inherit from us? Here is the Leelanau Children's Center in Northport, on parade Friday, April 26.
|"Day of the Young Child"|
The days are getting longer. Morning comes early. It’s spring, and it’s good to be alive. Don't you feel a little younger today, no matter how old you are?
|Wild leeks in the woods|