Grandpa's Sugar Maple Before copyright 2013, Stephanie Maatta Smith
Grandpa's Sugar Maple After copyright 2013, Stephanie Maatta Smith
There's a beautiful old sugar maple in front of the family home. It has three or four sturdy trunks and towers over the front yard. We have a real love/hate relationship with it in the autumn. The leaves are spectacular and bountiful. It shelters a variety of birds and squirrels, including a pair of pileated woodpeckers. It wouldn't be so bad, but we spent an afternoon raking and removing leaves and had the yard cleared; that evening more leaves fell and undid all of our sweat equity. My philosophy -- Mother Nature made the mess, let her clean it up with a stiff wind or two.