'The Juno of our groves'

That's how Thomas Jefferson described the tulip poplar tree whose seeds he sent to a friend in Paris in 1805, according to the Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia. It's a tree worth admiring today, as well. This was one of many encountered on a hike through the Schuylkill Center over the weekend.

These days I'm channeling our second president, having just bought A Rich Spot of Earth, the newest book by Peter Hatch,  director of the gardens and grounds of Monticello since 1977. I spoke to Peter a few years ago for a story about olive trees, I think, and he was full of marvelous tales about Jefferson's fascination with them. And all else, which is why Monticello is on my list of "must visit" places!