Picking out a favorite tree is easy for me. I love linden trees, with their spring-time perfume, their heart-shaped crowns, and the way they attract bees. We have a particularly nice linden in our front yard, and right now sitting out on the front porch swing with a good book, listening to the breeze run through the branches, and smelling the flowers in bloom is just about as close to perfect as it gets — particularly if you’ve got a nice glass of chilled wine to go with it.
We moved into our home when my youngest daughter, Anne, was just turning one. Her bedroom windows are lined up perfectly with the outer branches of our linden. Our neighbor’s linden tree’s branches almost — but not quite — meet our tree. We have some crazy acrobatic squirrels that climb as far out onto the branches as they dare and then fling themselves across the gap to the tree in the other yard. When Anne was still in her crib, she would wake up in the morning and laugh like crazy as she watched them tumbling back and forth. We have a lot of squirrels, so this made for an easy half-hour’s worth of entertainment for her, which meant a little more sleep for me. Sometimes I’d go get her in the morning, and we’d make up stories about them, where they were going, and what they were up to.
We’ve also seen raccoons in the tree, climbing off its branches and onto our porch roof, peering into our windows with their paws on the glass. A neighborhood hawk and a few small owls have made appearances, as well as the typical birds you’d expect to see. It’s our personal menagerie as viewed from the 2nd floor windows.
We’re fortunate to live in an older neighborhood with huge, established trees. They tower above the homes and make our otherwise very urban neighborhood feel like a park. I’m thankful to whoever planted our oaks, lindens, and walnuts decades ago, so that my family can benefit from them now. I hope to pass on the favor.