What is that Species?

I am pushing 60. Long past are my high school leaf collecting days.

I found myself staring at a neighbor’s tree, wondering, “What species of tree is that?”

My next thoughtdownload, “Why do I think about this to begin with?”

As the breeze picked up, the wilted-looking leaves (it has been hot, and of course no rain in Central Texas) appeared to turn inside out.

My mid-western upbringing tells me that leaves turned inside out are a sure sign of an approaching storm – possibly a tornado. This was a hot sultry cloudless day. No signs of a tornado. No ma’am. No twister in sight.

I stared at the tree.

It looked like an overgrown weed. In fact, the next neighbor’s yard also holds a similar tree with a trunk that sprawls all over the place. Invasive, maybe? Nobody chopped that thing down while it was in it’s infancy.

When I was a youngster, I would lay on the ground of the woods in Indiana. I stared up at the trees as I absorbed the cool from the ground. God’s land. Yes, God’s creation. It was beautiful. Magical. Can I just go there now? Yes. I pulled my young friends into that playland. I told them what I saw – what I felt. They listened intently. That was so many years ago. Do they remember? I hope.

So, I wonder why I now stare at this overgrown weed. I found a single hairy leaf that had floated down to the deck. Google is my friend. Heart shaped? Let’s look at how it grows on the branch. (I can’t erase this many years of wonderment.) A princess tree, invasive to Central Texas. I have my answer now.

Grow on,  you beautiful weed. Grow on.



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