Yesterday’s sunrise illuminated the many oak trees which have not yet released their leaves. This phenomenon, called “leaf marcescence,” is common among oaks (Quercus), beeches (Fagus), and a few other deciduous trees. (Remember you can click on pictures to enlarge). I hope to take a drive up toward Phoenixville some time this winter so I can bring you pictures at Arboreality – there are beautiful swaths of forests (and lovely planted sycamores in town), and the blush of the young beech trees is always a warming sight in the cold of winter.
Of course, I can’t resist an excuse to share another picture of the stone silo. As an artist, I am perpetually inspired by the intermixing of farm, forest, and fauna here at my Pennsylvania home. This stone silo is one of a handful of remnants of the original farming days which once defined Chester County and the greater Brandywine Valley region. The third image is one of my favorite romantic staples in these parts: the elegant, imposing Black walnut (Juglans nigra).
Today, much of this land is being converted to suburban housing. Fortunately, the local culture allows room for a genuine interest in conservation, as demonstrated by the Open Space Preservation Department of Chester County. Last winter I had the pleasure of interviewing the Director, Mr. Bill Gladden. Check out the interview here at Arboreality, and stop by the Open Space Preservation Department website to learn more about local efforts to retain forest and farmland in the area.