Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Life's a Beech

A walk through the winter woods reveals them with ease.
The beech trees, Fagus grandifolia, whose plain and smooth gray bark sets them apart with an elegance most others lack, furrowed and scaled. So vulnerable to those wanting to leave their mark upon them for the ages.
The sweetest leggy one, like the unblemished face of a slender, young girl, freckles dotting the bridge of her nose.

American Beech, Fagus grandifolia

Yet holding last year’s leaves, now faded and lightly golden, a sheer paper rustling with each breeze though these woods.
I love the beech trees.

Beech drops, Epifagus virginiana

Beneath them, barely seen against the russet tones of sugar maple, tiny Beech drops, Epifagus virginiana, grow, literally, "upon the beech."
With no leaves and no green coloring, living off the roots below as a parasitic plant.
For them, indeed, “Life’s a Beech.”

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Robert V. Sobczak said...

As a Floridan, I whole heartedly agree ... of course I think we are talking about different bea(e)ches. We are epiphyte central down here. For them, life is a swamp apple or live oak. That doesn't work as well as your beech!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Yes, Robert
--Life is a Swamp Apple doesn't have quite the same ring! :-)

Wanda said...

You say everthing so perfectly Nina. I agree...I love my beech trees and the small ones are just as special as the enormous ones.

Julie Zickefoose said...

OOh, I love them too, even as much as the timber barons hate them. Maybe because of that...I found one on my last walk with Chet that has the most astonishing runelike carvings on it, surely the work of people, but pretty long ago. I hated to see it and yet it was beautiful, too.

Cicero Sings said...

We have no beech trees here.

I too like how you are able to word things!

bobbie said...

I'm unfamiliar with beech drops. thanks for showing them to me.

Mary said...

I've heard others love the beech trees so I'd like to find one. I hope they're close by.

KaHolly said...

I was extolling upon the virtues of the Beech Tree just yesterday with my students. They are quite lovely, when you're strolling through the snow laden forest and spot one through the trees.

Steve B said...

I'm with you, I like beech trees too. Thanks for the inspiring post.

Anonymous said...

I love the way beech trees don't drop their leaves even deep into winter!