Not much new since my last post except it is of course Earth Day. At school the classes will go out and do a little clean up work around the school. Raking of wood chips out of the grass, tending to the flower gardens etc. I myself, will stop at a local greenhouse after work and pick up a pine tree to plant. While I will never catch up to the trees my father has planted, I would like to add at least one tree a year to our property.
The other day a boy who attends my school from Bosnia asked me about the birch trees. He had never seen trees like that and wondered what was wrong with them. I told him what I knew, and told him how unhealthy it was to pick at the tree, but he, like the other kids can't seem to help himself. Nor could I at that age. Each of the Birch trees on the property have rings of bark missing just at kid height. I also pointed out a Maple tree as well and explained about Maple syrup.
When I was a kid, my older two brothers made maple syrup one spring. I remember gathering the syrup and the days of cooking the syrup out on a wood stove my parents put up for them outside. I honestly don't remember tasting the finished product although, I do have a remembrance of what Maple Sap tastes like.
I remember fondly my father taking me through the woods of his childhood explaining the different trees. He showed me the leaves and bark that distinguished one tree from another. He passed this love of flora and fauna on to my brothers as well. My youngest brother has started pine trees from seed and planted them throughout that same property.
My parents and grandparents always had us outside, in the woods, in the garden, where ever. My grandfather on my Mother's side, Pa Pa was a great fisherman, craftsman and gardener. He made jewelry out of silver and turquoise, panned for gold, made dandelion wine, and in his later years when he had slowed down, had a large garden of various berries and plants. His wife, my grandmother would spend hours making jams and jellies from the berries. She seemed to be happiest when she was busy, as has passed down to my mother.
So on this Earth Day I hope you all get a chance to get outside and enjoy our planet. Hug a tree for goodness sakes, they need love too!
Today I am grateful for my father for showing me the importance of giving back to the planet that has given us so much.