Until two years ago, this tall graceful birch was a welcome landmark of a nearby park, reliable in my routines. When I became aware the birch was gone, I missed it and wondered why it was cut down, but I never sought out answers to that recurring question.
Then, admiring local irises this May, I drew closer with my iPhone to a lovely cluster in the park. The irises, probably planted years back around the birch’s trunk, encircled its remaining stump.
With closer viewing, the remaining wood, bark, moss, patterns and aromas raised new specific questions and an intriguing key question, “Is this tree truly gone?” Though transformed and less visible, the birch is still present.
Soon I was searching through photos from prior years in the same location where irises grew around the birch’s base. The flowers and the photos restored more memories of the tree that used to shelter them.
With no promise to dig deeper, this post is my response to the amazing, absorbing qualities of two kinds of plants I can name but barely know.