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.