Weeping whimsy and daughters who love trees

“I’m so excited for you to meet my trees,” my daughter Molly said as she greeted me in the front yard of her new apartment.

We had come to Minneapolis to help her move, but she had already taken care of, well, everything, except the assembly of a new bed and she did most of that too.

So, we had plenty of time for a stroll around Lake Harriet which, as it turned out, had been Molly’s goal all along.

“These are serviceberries,” she said as we approached the first featured tree on our loop. “They’re also called juneberries and they’re really good. Try one.”

I am accustomed to morning strolls around big cities with my offspring and they generally include some sort of treat (albeit on all previous occasions from a coffee shop or taco stand) so I’m all for street snacks. I cheerfully popped a couple of berries in my mouth.

“Wow! These are actually really good! They taste like blueberries,” I said.

“Yes! With an apple finish.”

“Yes! Exactly! Yum!”

A few yards down we stopped to pick a few mulberries from a laden tree, and they tasted sweet too.

Molly has become quite the botanist and she especially loves trees as much as I do, though hers is a far more scientific, practical fascination. She told me willows aren’t the only trees that weep, that other trees like junipers and fir trees can weep too.

“Do you think they’re just more sensitive?” I asked.

“Maybe,” she allowed and I let my mind wander whimsically through various plots involving weeping trees.

“There’s a weeping spruce,” she said and I patted a branch or two.

“It’s ok,” I whispered. “You’re very beautiful just the way you are and I think it’s cool that a big, strong tree like yourself can be so expressive in public.”

We made our way around the lake, noshing and admiring, until we came to a glorious white pine growing just on the far side of the peace garden.

“That’s my favorite tree,” Molly said.

We admired it from afar and then she showed me the sturdy branches that reached out like a big ole family hugger, and offered steps for climbing that reached all the way to the ground.

“I can see why you like it here,” I said and she nodded happily.

Later, we had lunch with her roommates, who are as delightful as her trees.

I think she’s going to be just fine in her new home and I’m going to enjoy visiting them all again.

After our walk, because I was so fascinated with the idea of weeping trees, Molly sent me this picture of a a weeping juniper tree (on the left) and a weeping tamarack (on the right).
Look at this magnificent weeping fir! Who knew trees could be so bravely emotional?
These black walnuts should be ready to go when I visit again in the fall. I’m going to get Molly to whip up a nice walnut cake for me.
Molly and her favorite tree…
…seems like a family hugger to me.
Aspen trees grow straight and tall, kind of like daughters who like to tell me about them.
Willow trees can weep , but they’re also really resilient. They can tip over like this one did, and still keep growing. They send tender new shoots out from the old growth, which is pretty remarkable.

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