27 October 2012
Aspen Minority, Missoula, Montana
Quaking aspen are a common enough tree in Montana's forests, but every so often they're the odd man out. It reminds me of the trees that bordered the yard of my childhood home. Every fall, one tree in the lineup stayed green after all the others had turned golden, and it hung onto its leaves way past when all the others were bare. As a kid, I marveled at this in innocent wonder - maybe its magic that makes this tree special! - until one of my wiser siblings shattered my illusions by pointing out that it was the tree closest to the septic tank. It wasn't as life-changing as when I learned what goes into hot dogs, but a little bit of innocence died that day. So, the moral of the story is watch what you say to little kids.