Take a minute to appreciate the landscape of spring
Published 4:30 pm Saturday, April 23, 2022
It was not a particularly pretty morning as my husband Tom and I drove through Lafayette County into Pontotoc County and then on into Lee County. It was quite cool. The skies were a dull gray, and the sun was having a tough time trying to be seen. But the beauty of the rolling hills and the topography was impressive.
It was after all technically spring although the temperatures and weather patterns didn’t bear that out. There was a penetrating chill and a certain heaviness that didn’t convey the season of re-birth. And yet, the countryside was incredibly beautiful. The many “spring green” colors—the translucent leaves that were springing forth in so many assorted colors of green with lots of yellow sprinkled among them. No, not necessarily the yellow of pollen, although it was certainly in the mix. There’s just so many beautiful greens in spring. The fuzzy green, the shining sea green and lime, the emerald green, the jade and khaki greens. Can you see it? You can almost see the transformation as summer elicits all these many greens to become the olive-green leaves that all blend together amongst all the trees.
These many magnificent trees are beautiful, even as they are dressed in their “spring” colors and await the season when their leaves are full, and the trees are standing tall providing shelter and shade. I wonder who planted the trees that now grace these acres. It certainly wasn’t the current homeowner because trees take between 15 to 80 years to reach maturity.
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Trees have many functions. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.” That’s pretty amazing. Trees provide food—fruits and nuts, pecans, walnuts, apples, oranges, pears, peaches, and more. They provide homes for all kinds of insects, birds, and other animals. They provide wood for building.
This morning the trees gave the appearance of being the same height from the view of the road across the farmland and fields. There were plenty of animals grazing and enjoying the cool morning. When I see the cows, I know that they provide milk. There are a few sheep who also have a useful role. When I see the horses, I wonder what their role is on their land.
As I drive along, I think of how beautiful the passing landscape is, how calming it is to see nature’s beauty displayed all around. I’m reminded of how many trees fell during the recent storms, some during the tornadoes that swept across the south. I also think about the stories I’ve seen about deforestation of entire forests to make space for agriculture and animal grazing, as well as mining and logging. How did those areas fare after the land was cleared?
I’m so happy to redirect my attention to the beautiful green landscape and center my attention on the splendors of nature. I’m grateful that our drive is enhanced by the beautiful terrain. I’m also grateful that I have feasted on the beauty of this relatively short drive as I haven’t done before. I find myself mesmerized by the scene that will change almost daily as warmer winds and recent rains fortify the landscape scenery. Next time you’re out and about, take note of the landscape. You won’t be disappointed. We are so fortunate to live in such a lovely place as Mississippi.
Bonnie Brown writes a weekly column for The Oxford Eagle. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.