"How silent are the woods when the air is still; how filled with sighs and murmurs when a slight breeze springs up, how echoing with the boom and shriek and wail of the treetops when a great wind blows! On this day of tumultuous gusts, the buffeted trees respond to the wind like a vast orchestra of aeolian harps. In a thousand variations, the twigs, the branches, the individual forms of the bare treetops contribute different strains, different tones to the roaring medley that rises and falls around us. ” Edwin Way Teale, 1978, from A Walk Through the Year.
SOFTER than silence, stiller than still air
Float down from high pine-boughs the slender leaves.
The forest floor its annual boon receives
That comes like snowfall, tireless, tranquil, fair.
Gently they glide, gently they clothe the bare
Old rocks with grace. Their fall a mantle weaves
Of paler yellow than autumnal sheaves
Or those strange blossoms the witch-hazels wear..
Taken from "The Snowing of the Pines" by
Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823–1911)
|"We had a remarkable sunset one day last November. I was walking in a meadow, the source of a small brook, when the sun at last, just before setting, after a cold gray day, reached a clear stratum in the horizon, and the softest, brightest morning sunlight fell on the dry grass and on the stems of the trees in the opposite horizon and on the leaves of the shrub-oaks on the hillside, while our shadows stretched long over the meadow eastward, as if we were the only motes in its beams. It was such a light as we could not have imagined a moment before, and the air also was so warm and serene that nothing was wanting to make a paradise of that meadow. When we reflected that this was not a solitary phenomenon, never to happen again, but that it would happen forever and ever an infinite number of evenings, and cheer and reassure the latest child that walked there, it was more glorious still.” Henry Thoreau, 1862, from Walking
Ilex verticillata (L.) A.Gray
This is Minnesota's only native holly and is indigenous to the Garden. The red drupes can persist into winter for color and bird food. It was Ken Avery's favorite plant and after he retired Cary George and The Friends planted several in his honon as only one shrub remained. They exist today.