|-Photo from upper-level window, tree at left of photo-|
When beavers took a lot of trees from our back property in 2009, I openly worried about a little beech sapling that had held its golden leaves past autumn every year, far beyond other trees.
In every season, its balanced form had looked to me like a Christmas tree, but I loved it most in autumn when it assumed the golden color that is the hallmark of so many trees in this creek-fed valley. How long would it be, I wondered, before the beavers destroyed it?
One afternoon in late October 2010, I looked out the window and saw my Bob installing a protective fence of chicken wire around that sapling, to protect it from the varmints. Protective as that fencing was, it was not visible unless you stood up close beside it, and so the aesthetics I admired remained.
Every year after that, as October drew to an end, I have taken a photo to chart its growth, just as parents often mark the growth of a child. And now I share my brand new photo of that tree, taken this morning of October 29, 2015.
The top of that tree had been no more than a few inches above my husband's head when he fenced it. Now the tree's well over 20 feet tall and still lithe and lovely, unlike the woman who owns and resides on the land where it planted its feet (in whatever year that was).
Every year its curved leaves still cling to the tree like golden ornaments, well beyond the winter holidays.
I smile when I see that tree, just as I smile at the sight of the husband whose down-to-earth efforts saved that tree for his wife.