The photo challenge for this week, Look Up, is the perfect opportunity for me to reflect on our beautiful Red Oak, or Quercus rubra, it’s scientific name, that is in our back yard.
Doesn’t this picture kind of look like a head of broccoli?! I was just finishing up some yoga on my back deck and during shivasana, I opened my eyes for just a moment and my view took my breath away. I grabbed my phone and took this photo of our Oak looking straight up. Isn’t it magnificent?!
I have never loved a tree as I love this tree. It provides shade for us all through the summer, making our back yard a little magical oasis that is slightly cooler even on the hottest of days. It also helps protect my son from the harsh sun on those summer days. A relief that is very welcome as a mother.
A tree of this size doesn’t come without it’s challenges as well. We spend a good portion of the fall raking leaves and acorns…especially after last year’s mast year. It also made it difficult to spend too much time on the deck in the fall with a baby – those acorns hurt when they hit you!
And unfortunately our Oak is up against gypsy moths for the first time this year. It is a devastating infestation and luckily it looks like our Oak is holding it’s own – so far. But this has brought even more challenges – including substantial amounts of caterpillar poop all over EVERYTHING. Yuck. And now moths EVERYWHERE.
We have also decided to get it checked out by an arborist. Our little guy plays under this tree all day long and it doesn’t hurt to have a professional take a look to make sure there are no dangerous limbs looming above. Something I would recommend to anyone with a tree of substantial size. Especially with small children.
Do you have a tree in your yard that is special to you?