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The wonder of aspen trees--and their lessons about community

community nature poetry Oct 09, 2021

Aspen trees and community

Aspen trees, Color, Autumn, Fall, Landscape
Aspen trees in Autumn from

I’ve written often about my daily walks. One of my favorite sights on these walks is the quaking aspen trees that flutter next to the pond.

As it happens, I’ve been thinking about trees a lot lately. Although I tend to focus on smaller plants and animals in my art and writing, I love trees.

And aspen trees hold a special place in my heart. When I was in high school, my family took a trip to Aspen, Colorado, where my youngest brother played in the Aspen summer music festival. Aspen was a quaint and affordable town back in those days. I remember eating at a crepe restaurant there for the first time. I also remember the aspen trees with their leaves that quiver in the breeze. But what impressed me most at the time (I know because I still remember) is that aspen trees grow in communities. A stand or group of aspen trees is considered a single organism, called a “clone”. By the way, the oldest known aspen clone is over 80,000 years old and lives in Utah’s Fishlake National Forest. These trees live as part of a community! How marvelous.

Of course, all of us belong to the community of earth, but this way of growing together still intrigues me.

This week’s photos all come from online–my weekend trip was wonderful but wore me out.

The community of family

Aspen trees, Autumn, Fall, Nature, Tree
I love watching the aspen leaves shake in the breeze. from

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting my parents outside of Detroit. Both of my brothers and one of my daughters came, too. It had been many years since we had all been together. Although I tend to laugh a lot, I notice that when I’m with my family, I laugh more than usual. I don’t think it’s because we are particularly funny. But, like the aspens, it’s the energy–the joy and love that flows between us that makes us laugh.

A poem about aspen trees

This poem includes some Celtic and Native American lore about aspens because–why not!


Leaves giggle and whisper

secrets between sisters.

Leaves quiver and quake

sprinkling fairy magic.

Leaves dance and sway

reminders to play

Leaves woven and bound

make a hero’s crown


Roots connected and entwined

many as one combined

Trunks side by side

family pride.

Catkins, Aspen trees, Populus Tremula, Populus
Seeds on the aspen tree–from
That's all for now.
Thanks for stopping by--I'd love to hear your thoughts on Aspen trees--and community.

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