Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Scenes from a fridge

Yesterday I was over at Morris Arboretum, where the chilled air made me think I was inside a refrigerator. OK, maybe I was thinking refrigerator after cleaning mine out the other night. It was so cold I passed up the chance to amble around, which was a first, but I did stop to photograph this scene. I think this is a river birch, a beautiful, multi-stemmed native-to-North-America tree that thrives in moist areas, which this is - near the entrance to the arboretum. You might argue this long-lived, fast-growing tree looks even better in winter than it does in summer. A neighbor has one and I admire it every day, though I wonder how it will fare in our city neighborhood if it gets to 90 feet! Which it might. As I was standing near this one yesterday, three huge formations of loudly honking Canada geese passed overhead. All we missed for this seasonal scene was snow. Forget I said that.

Scenes from a fridge

Yesterday I was over at Morris Arboretum, where the chilled air made me think I was inside a refrigerator. OK, maybe I was thinking refrigerator after cleaning mine out the other night. It was so cold I passed up the chance to amble around, which was a first, but I did stop to photograph this scene. I think this is a river birch, a beautiful, multi-stemmed native-to-North-America tree that thrives in moist areas, which this is - near the entrance to the arboretum. You might argue this long-lived, fast-growing tree looks even better in winter than it does in summer. A neighbor has one and I admire it every day, though I wonder how it will fare in our city neighborhood if it gets to 90 feet! Which it might. As I was standing near this one yesterday, three huge formations of loudly honking Canada geese passed overhead. All we missed for this seasonal scene was snow. Forget I said that.

P.S. to Elfie, who emailed wanting to know how to I.D. a tree or plant online, there are identification websites out there that can help. Or you can Google your plant's characteristics. Or search for tree identification. Then check out the academic (noncommercial) sites that end in .edu or .org. Some .coms - large mail-order plant nurseries, for ex. - have descriptions and images that are very helpful, too.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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