Big cold trees

One of my favorite things about winter is being able to see the structure of all of the deciduous trees. I love trees when at all times of the year, but seeing their dark, naked branches against the bright winter sky (or sunrise, or sunset) has always been special to me.

On Christmas day I visited a "Forest Preserve" (aka "park") in suburban Chicago near my mother's house. I haven't been to this particular park in probably 20 years, and the trees that I remember as being quite large back then were even bigger now.


My brother and I walked around, reminiscing about the times we went fishing in the creek, the holiday picnics that our town held here, and the park in general. I couldn't stop looking up.

Most of the trees were oaks of some sort (I'm not an expert on oak identification, but I do know they're not Bur Oaks -- the acorns were not large enough).

There were other types of trees too, like this weeping willow which wasn't looking too good:

Although I think it did look fantastic when reflected in the creek:

This isn't a large Preserve (there are some pretty huge ones in the Chicago area), but it still has a nice mixture of cared-for and "wild" areas. Those areas contained reminders that even these huge, seemingly eternal plants won't be around forever:

Although we were the only two people in the park we didn't see any wildlife other than a few of those freaky reddish fox squirrels that make the gray squirrels of St. Louis look so drab, small and boring. Even though it's easy to forget that you're surrounded by residential development when in here, there may not be enough area for too many larger animals -- although I expect there are plenty of deer, and coyotes probably pass through once in a while (if they don't live here).

These photos (taken with my phone) don't do the trees justice, but if you've got large deciduous trees near your home I urge you to take a good look at them this winter (if it is winter for you right now).

There's beauty in those towering, cold trees.


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (December 30, 2011 at 11:21 AM)  

Alan, I love those trees. I've been taking photos of bare trees in our neighborhood. Will do a post in the new year.

:: Bamboo and More ::

scottweberpdx  – (December 30, 2011 at 2:18 PM)  

Indeed, we're lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with streets that are lined with mature oaks...they are beautiful in all seasons...even now :-)

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (December 31, 2011 at 3:29 PM)  

Oh these trees are magnificent! I've always LOVED trees! Mt love for plants is new, but trees ... it started as a child when I spent my chidhood climbing them. Your photographs are fantastic!

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