Monday, September 1, 2008

Mountain Ash Tree

I have two Mountain Ash trees, one in the front yard and one in the back. Around this time of the year, the berries on the tree turn a bright red. They are beautiful little trees. It seems I'm not the only one who enjoys them. When the weather starts to turn colder, we are visited by moose. Even though they are very large creatures, they are extremely delicate when they eat. They carefully grab the limbs between their teeth, bite down slightly, and slide their mouths down the branches. The branches are left intact, but all of the leaves are gone. They nibble on the front tree, and then head around the building to try out the one in back. They just take a little off of the trees each visit, and then head back into the woods. We have 3 moose that come and see us often. As the weather gets colder and the snow falls, they return. The leaves are more brittle now, and the moose are just as delicate. I had thought that maybe the berries were too bitter to eat, because they seem to pass those over. Maybe they just don't appeal to the moose.
Pretty soon, there aren't many leaves left at all, and the tree is just covered with berries. The moose lose interest. Then the birds appear. The Bohemian Waxwings come in large groups, and settle all over the tree. They aren't as delicate or well mannered as the moose. They grab the berries and swallow them whole. I am amazed that they don't choke. They are like beautiful little locusts. They swarm in, eat everything, and then disappear just as quickly. Then my little trees are bare. And we wait for spring.

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