54 – Leaves *

Special thanks to Ann-Christine for providing the photos. Ann-Christine is in Sweden and I encourage readers to visit her photography blog Leya: To see a world in a grain of sand. Please tell her I sent you and feel free to comment on her images here. Ann-Christine’s work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

The only trees I see as I walk are the palms on the condo properties. So on this day, I think about the trees of home.

My home does not have the palms of the coast, but my mind sees the deciduous trees of Ohio – those losing their leaves every fall after showing a brilliant display of color.

Ever wonder why a tree is a tree? Yes, its roots anchor it to the ground and take in water and nutrients from the soil for the entire tree; but the tree is more. The wood in the trunk and branches provide the strength to stand tall while transporting materials throughout its body. But it’s the leaves that resonate with me today. That is, leaves the noun, not the verb.

Leaves – those growths off of the tree’s appendages we call limbs.

Leaves – some small, others large – some simple, others compound – some with smooth edges, others lobed or serrated.

Leaves – some grow off the branch opposite of each other – others alternate side to side along that supporting stem.

Leaves – they live, grow, climb, unfold, wilt, die, fall, and return.

Leaves – the site for food production for the tree. Yes – leaves are the tree’s kitchen for a process called photosynthesis. We remember that light is involved in making food – but questions remain like “Why?” and “What happens to the food?”

Leaves – the part of the tree making the food for the entire tree because the tree is not a hunter or a predator. The tree lives a stationary life, so it can’t hunt or get the food that it needs for survival – so it makes its own.

Leaves – those thin flat structures containing microscopic holes allowing the movement of gases in and out for the tree – primarily water vapor, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. Both oxygen and carbon dioxide are needs and wastes of different processes. Yes, the tree needs oxygen just as we do – and lots of it – and for the same reason – energy for sustaining life processes.

We and many other living things take in food and oxygen for our cells to use for essential life processes. The tree makes its food so its cells can use that food for those processes.

Leaves – all those leaves. Those green patches give the tree a full appearance. Sometimes they number in the hundreds – other times in the thousands or even several hundred thousands.

Leaves on a tree are not woven together like patches on a quilt because that would not allow the tree to stand tall and withstand the winds. Leaves must allow the air to move through the tree, which also creates the soothing sound of a gentle rustle.

Those same spaces allow glimmers of light to pass through that serve as the light of ideas, hope, and comfort – all signs of a positive future.

Leaves – the hands of a tree having many arms that reach out to touch us. Leaves – the eyes of the tree reaching out to gather necessary light to live its life. Leaves – the heart of the tree’s steady rhythm.

Leaves – from the four-leaf clover to shaking when we are nervous or even the fig leaf of embarrassment. From turning over a new leaf for a fresh start to taking a leaf out of one’s book to accomplish something like someone, leaves are special.

Leaves are design and art – the design for functionality and a role in nature – the art for beauty, emotion, and symbolism. The patterns for design, art, metaphors, and wonderful to think about while walking the beach

Thinking about leaves also reminds me of the smell of playing in a pile of autumn leaves, followed by the smell of them burning. I also enjoy smelling the sea air when I walk, which is an elixir for relaxation and renewal. After all, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have written about leaves

Next PostStones * – Thursday 25 March @ 1 AM (Eastern US)

Follow Beach Walk Reflections

  • Facebook (BeachWalk Reflections)
  • Instagram (BeachWalk Reflections)
  • Twitter (@ReflectionsWalk)
  • WordPress (Follow or Subscribe)

108 thoughts on “54 – Leaves *”

  1. Your mention of the fig leaf made me smile, but actually I have been watching my solitary fig growing on the patio. The leaves expand daily! Another phenomenon of nature. Love Ann-Christine’s photos 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Choosing Ann-Christine’s images was an inspired choice. At first I was surprised you’d chosen spring as the time for this theme – we all really notice leaves in autumn. But as your piece demonstrates, this period when they are emerging fresh and new for the year id the perfect time to celebrate them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret,
      We both know Ann-Christine’s photos are wonderful, and for me, she shined in this post. It is interesting how we think about leaves more in the fall, but, just like you mentioned, it is spring that allows us to have that great show. I also laugh because the closing music video features leaves in autumn. Glad you enjoyed this walk!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful images and music with this post Frank. The music is a tune I’d heard before at a Memorial Service – I think we all want to pack in as much life as we can “Before The Last Leaf Falls”. I love leaves in the Fall but I just might love them even more in the Spring when they break through the sleepy Winter naps trees and shrubs take and make a glorious comeback. Renewal – fresh start – however you think of it, it’s invigorating and a reminder that life goes on and on.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. The gentle rustle of the leaves in the wind and the peaty smell of life, takes me back to my childhood. If I think hard enough, I can smell the musty aromas of the early spring as the trees are just starting to bud again. They are dressing themselves for the coming seasons and it is a wonder to watch it all unfold.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha! I haven’t been outside to see the trees. I have been diligently isolating myself for a year, more than a year now. But I have been vaccinated so I’ll be going out in about two weeks. Just to see what outside looks like again. My window doesn’t do it justice.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Reading this made me miss my soggy, wet garden even more than I am already! 😉 Really, your words had me floating along on the memory of each feeling you described. And Ann-Christine’s photos, as always, are pure joy. I especially like the frosted leaf, which is something I never see here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne!
      Good to see you!!!! 😀 Your presence is a good reminder that our two hemispheres are in opposite seasons … let alone the degree of change that we see. As you mentioned, you don’t see frosted leaves. I ask out of ignorance, but do many trees in your area get fall colors as in the video?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately in the subtropics we see very few beautiful autumn leaves falling. Our pecan tree, and the golden rain tree I posted about yesterday both lose leaves in winter, without spectacular colour. When we lived in Sydney, which is about ten hours drive south and in a temperate weather zone, we lived in a street lined with huge old trees whose leaves changed colour during autumn. It was the most beautiful sight and I often collected pretty leaves to take home with me when I went for a walk. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautifully done Frank. I don’t know how you can keep up with your schedule of beautiful posts as well as respond to all of the comments AND visit others’ posts. You’re the king of WordPress IMHO! As always, a lovely, thoughtful post accompanied by A-C’s gorgeous images. I particularly liked the frosted leaves. Like Joanne we very rarely see them here (only twice I can remember in 20 years). Thanks for the lovely wake-up post this morning Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tina,
      I humbly thank you for the honor you have bestowed upon me. Believe me, at times I feel crazed, rushed, and behind – like I do now – but time will work everything out. Meanwhile, A-C’s images are outstanding – and I’m glad you focused on green leaves with just enough of autumn. Have a good day.


  7. I enjoy looking at leaves and capturing them in photos. I find them interesting as the bud out and form, throughout the season and as they change and fall. Nice walk today, Frank. Great photos by Ann-Christine.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Last fall I kept finding oak leaves on the beach, even though I couldn’t figure out where the nearest oak tree might be. Your thoughts about leaves were such a pleasure to read — I do love the sound of rustling leaves and how they dapple the sunlight. Ahhhh… And there are so many kinds of them. Lovely leaf photos from Ann-Christine, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara,
      Sometimes I wonder how far the wind carries leaves – but I have no idea. You mentioning rustling leaves got me thinking about the similarities and differences between them rustling on the limbs and on the ground. Thanks for creating a thought. Glad you enjoyed Ann-Christine’s photos.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Merril,
      I think about the trees – the large and the small – the tall and the short. Some with strong wood and others with weak wood. Then their leaves – leaves of various sizes, shapes, and arrangements. Leaves on flowers and bushes accomplishing the same primary duties as those of a tree. They are fascinating, and this is the season we get to witness an annual renewal. Spring is ready to burst onto the scene.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A lovely tribute to leaves and equally lovely music. As someone who lives in the woods in Maine, I have a keen appreciation for leaves and their various aspects—the way they bud, mature, and then fall. A cycle that never grows old.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie,
      The life cycle of a leaf is interesting. I was looking at one of our ornamental bushes this afternoon wondering if it survived the cold winter. I wasn’t sure, but now I have my eyes of hope on the presence of buds of new leaves, Cheers to your joy for the life cycle of leaves.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Frank, this reflection leafs me happy!
    Soon we will have leaves here. Of course we will need some buds first.
    Ann-Christine’s photos are lovely, and I will pay her a a visit.
    The video is a gorgeous composition.
    Thank you for walking on the beach!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. There are so many different shapes and textures and colours of leaves. I enjoy photographing the light through them when fresh and young in spring or changing colour in the autumn, but my favourite image here is not of a tree leaf, but the light through that lovely Solomon’s Seal plant. And while we wait for the deciduous trees to begin their new season I watch the ferns unfurl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jude – I too love Solomon’s Seal, and sometimes bring them home from the forest. Shy beauties. And you are so right – ferns unfurling is a wonder every spring. Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Thinking of leaves makes me think of the Midwest, although we have leaves here, too. We had lots of tall, old trees in our Ohio yard, so raking leaves was a fall exercise opportunity. Jumping into a leaf pile was always fun and seeing the glorious colors of fall leaves was a delight. Some of my favorite leaves are the leaves in a book and getting back to the library, even in a limited space, has been so nice!

    A-C, you know I always love your photos. Frank, always enjoy seeing where your thoughts lead you.


    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a beautiful post on leaves, as enjoyable as informative! It is funny how as a first instinct I think green when I think leaves and then slowly get reminded of the gorgeous colors they gift us with, bringing us in touch with seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Brilliant walk through the world of leaves and all its many and mighty definitions.

    For me, I remember back to walks on various hiking trails. Where some leaves are mysterious in shape, others are grand in scale and yet others will make you blush with all the color they provide.

    And then of course there’s my reading list memories of “Eats Shoots & Leaves” by Lynne Truss and Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

    Much to think on here, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love watching the deciduous trees begin to leaf out in early spring. There are so few native trees in Southern California, most having been brought from the east long, long ago. We have plenty of palms, and many are dying from old age! As iconic as they are to our area, the plan at this time is not to replace them. That’s going to change the landscape considerably. And you mentioned enjoying the smell of burning leaves. Believe it or not, I have never had that pleasure! I have no idea how to even imagine that smell. Or should I perhaps say “aroma?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      I must say, your comment gave me info I didn’t know about SoCal? Not many native trees? Aging palms? On the other hand, knowing that you are a SoCal gal, I’m not surprised you haven’t smelled burning leaves because anyone trying it may cause half the state to burn!


  16. Leaves are Nature’s wonder, far more than flowers whose sole reason to be is reproduction. Leaves breathe. Leaves take our CO2 and give us Oxygen. They are the lungs of the world. And they come in such a wonderful range of shapes and sizes and textures

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Frank, Donna was right. These are perfect greens for Terri’s challenge. This week I’m hosting and the topic will be cats. Do any cats ever go to the beach? They are not something I’ve ever seen wandering the beach. Have a wonderful weekend, Frank. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha,
      Thanks …. so odd – her title was Spring Green … and I had two consecutive posts – Spring followed by Green … so I included those links into Terri’s comments …. then returned with a link to this one. Serendipity at work. 🙂 Cats this week? You must have changed the schedule. 😉 I haven’t written anything on pets yet – but it is on my offline “topics to consider list”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your spring greens worked out beautifully! Frank, we did change the schedule for Sunday Stills because she wants to cover the topic she had scheduled for this week. Since she is without internet, we came up with Respect the Cat since it is a National Day. So when she comes back in two weeks, she will go back to her original scheduled topics.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.