May 15, 2014

Birch

May 15, 2014 Photo (135/365): "Catkins"

I've always been partial to birches. We had one in our yard when I was growing up, and our Door County State Parks are punctuated with their white branches. When we landscaped our house, I knew I wanted a birch to remind me of home. Yet our own birch clump has struggled for nearly ten years -- first losing one of its three trunks to a wind storm and each year, surrendering its leaves to the voracious appetites of Japanese beetles.

This spring our fragile, little tree is filled with catkins -- those scaly pods which are actually birch blossoms. I can only hope that these cylindrical clusters with their myriad of tiny seeds are a sign that our trees is growing stronger, preparing itself for a late summer battle against its garden nemesis.