I had jury duty today, which was interesting. I can’t remember how long its been since I did that but it’s been a long time, 20 years, at least. I didn’t end up being selected for the jury but of course if I had been I would have served as best I could. I was dismissed after the one jury was seated and after stopping briefly at home I decided to go out into the woods.
The woods around here are not as thick and dense as some I’ve been in. They are not particularly ancient with most trees being less than 100 years old and only here and there a really old oak or beech tree. They also are not as impressively tall as some I’ve seen. There is not much that can compare to the Douglas fir or the coast redwoods of the northern California. Still, the eastern forest, when allowed to grow relatively unimpeded for a while, can be very pretty in its own way.
The tallest and straightest trees here are the tulip poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera). They tend to yellow and brown in autumn. That’s what most of the trees are in this picture. Of course, they are not alone. The woods here are quite varied, with oaks and maples of many types, which take much longer to get really massive, but which provide deep rusty reds and bright orange-red colors in fall. There are also many beech, sycamore, cherry, locust, walnut, sweet gum, tupelo, sassafras, elm, willow, ash, catalpa, hornbeam, hickory, alder, poplar, dogwood, and occasional stands of white pine and red cedar (to say nothing of introduced species, such as various spruce and fir, paulownia, and ailanthus. What our woods lack in size, they make up for in variety.