My top three favorite trees:
1. A Christmas tree. Duh! But seriously, the plain old cedar tree.
|photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk|
There's just something unbelievably magical about the way cedars grow in such perfect Christmas tree shapes. Maybe I'm weird (who me??) but I get THE biggest kick out of seeing a perfectly shaped cedar tree growing in the wild. And they have those adorable, teeny tiny pine cones. And the smoothness of their 'leaves' (I don't think of cedar as having needles) compared to their rough, hairy trunks. And then there's their smell. Is there anything on this earth more fresh, clean and exhilarating while making you imagine both cold, winter snowfalls and warm, comfy fires? I have the best childhood memories of playing under the neighbor's cedar tree. Even though I'd come home with sticky sap stuck in my hair and I'd cry when Mom tried to brush it out, my memories of playing under that tree make me smile.
|photo courtesy of greenwoodnursery.com|
2. Crepe Myrtles. There's just something special about any kind of tree that flowers. Crepe Myrtles are not the prettiest of flowering trees (mimosa trees come to mind,) but they are my favorite. They have that wonderful, pale, peeling bark and they come in so many different colors. Oddly, I don't like the shade of pink in that photo, but it's my favorite crepe myrtle color. Weird!
And once again, I have happy childhood memories of crepe myrtles. We had two in our yard. One was near the back door and a multitude of bird feeders hung from it. My dad was into bird watching and I have wonderful memories of sitting with him on the porch, watching the birds. Okay, I was more excited about the squirrels than the birds but whatever.
The second crepe myrtle was on the side of the house and it lived a long happy life, until one day when it no longer pleased the parental units. I have no memory of why the tree suddenly had to come down but it did. Maybe Mom just wanted more space to grow tomatoes. Who knows. But it was like some kind of zombie apocalypse tree because it refused to stay 'down.' They poured hot water over the stump. They covered the stump with salt. They sprayed it with early 1970's weed killer (and you know that was some serious killer chemical!) They even put a giant cement septic tank lid on top of the stump... and the tree continued to grow up around the cement.
Okay, so I have no idea why a zombie crepe myrtle tree rates as a good childhood memory, but it does. Maybe being the rebel child that I was, maybe my parent's exasperation every time that thing grew back gave me some small pleasure. Who knows. But I love crepe myrtles.
|photo courtesy of thespruce.com|
3. And then there's weeping willows. Once again, I have wonderful childhood memories centered around a weeping willow. Growing up, there was an old, somewhat reclusive couple that lived across the street in what I always thought of as a mansion. The house was much larger than any of the others in the neighborhood and their yard/property was easily five times larger than anyone else's. At one time, the yard/gardens must have been something to behold but by the time I came along, the back yard gardens at least, had been abandoned. It was all very Secret Garden-ish back there. And I Loved playing in them. And in the very far back of their property, behind a brick wall with a small, rusted metal gate, was a great big weeping willow tree. Not often, but occasionally I was allowed to bring a few friends and go play in the gardens. We'd always hide out under that weeping willow where it was shady and much cooler and do all the things a child does when hiding out in a secret garden, under a giant weeping willow.
It's odd that weeping willows remain on my top favorite list because honestly, they sort of creep me out. Well, not sort of. They do creep me out. I still love the look of them but the noise they make.... The way the leaves rustle and twitch in the slightest of breezes... It makes my skin crawl. It makes me think of skeletons crawling across the floor, or some kind of Stephen King spider coming to get me. Aack! Just thinking about it makes me twitch. But despite their horrible noise, I still love the way they look. And I really do have The fondest memories of playing in that Secret Garden type garden across the street.
So what about you? Do you have a favorite tree, or three? And more importantly, are you weird enough that your favorite tree also scares you?
To enjoy others' Three on Thursday lists, join me over at Carole's place.