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Thursday, April 25, 2024

‘S’ in treetops takes us back to autumn days in 2021


Above / For years, PN photographers have been searching for all the letters of the alphabet high in the treetops for times when we want to spell out our love for nature. (PN Photo, April 26, 2023)

On this April day while trekking along the winding Riverwalk to enjoy bluebells and other signs of spring, we again noticed the big “S” high in the treetops at the west end of Centennial Beach, a shape that we’d cropped to help us spell “T-R-U-S-T” to kick off the New Year in 2022.

Looking toward the inauguration of Naperville Mayor-Elect Scott Wehrli and the new Naperville City Council at 1PM Sun., April 30, as well as swearing ins for Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners, School District 203 and District 204 Boards of Education in May, trust in locally-elected officials and respect for nature are top of mind. We’ll repost that January editorial on this page as some of it applies 16 months later.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to stop and smell the sweet fragrance of the bluebells along the Riverwalk before leaves from the trees block out the sunlight and the bloomin’ beauties go away until next spring. “S” starts and ends so many words. Be safe and enjoy the great outdoors every step of the way.

The brick path along the southside of the DuPage River is alive with bluebells and other wildflowers here and there. (PN Photo, April 26, 2023)

Find blankets of bluebells near Sindt Woods and throughout Knoch Knolls Park, too.  —PN

The “S” in T-R-U-S-T was originally photographed along the Riverwalk in late November 2021, a time when many folks had begun wondering about the future and PN was thinking about the New Year. (PN Cover, January 2022)

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

—Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Watching peaceful clouds transform into animated images against a bright blue sky always has been a wonderful way to while away time and to keep looking up, no matter what the season.

And though January’s frosty temperatures sometimes can be an excuse to stay indoors, bundling up to observe the unique structure of trees after their foliage falls has become another outdoor pastime when winter rolls into the Midwest. Also since childhood, finding letters of the alphabet in the crowns of bare trees has been a fun way to appreciate what nature can spell for us.

More than a decade ago, our front cover was dedicated to P-E-A-C-E, five letters of the alphabet that appeared to “pop” into clear view, at first hidden in the high branches of trees from the Riverwalk to May Watts Park to Knoch Knolls.

Back then promoting “peace” was aimed to enhance our community spirit and the challenges that unite us. Respecting peace with freedom directs us to support and accept one another with all our differences and imperfections to the fullest extent possible. Through kindness, generosity, fairness and peace, it’s likely our community will provide a basis for attaining a sustainable, meaningful, vibrant and fulfilling life for its citizens.

In our most recent December issue, those same five letters created from branches appeared on page 5 with a Positively Naperville shop local message that featured the Grinch’s “reading” a copy of PN with “PEACE” on the cover. No doubt, we’ll use it again.

To kick off 2022, we looked up in the treetops along the Riverwalk to find T-R-U-S-T. What delight it was to find an almost perfect “S” on a cloudy day near Centennial Beach, hoping we’d be able to rediscover it when the sun shined again in order to take a better photo with blue sky in the background.

Finding all the letters for “trust” in the structure of trees was an attempt to send a message of strength, safety and stability that is our determined desire for 2022 and all the years to follow.

And wouldn’t you know? With trees and their value on our mind, the Morton Arboretum is prepared to commemorate its first 100 years throughout 2022, with plans to plant 1,000 trees to mark its centennial milestone.

To provide a little news for readers to use, we consulted the online version of the The Old Farmer’s Almanac for advice regarding winter pruning techniques. We’ve noted some trees along neighborhood sidewalks have low-hanging branches that might benefit. Known as “dormant pruning,” responsible removal of branches in winter is easy and the source says pruning encourages proper spring growth.

Welcoming and free open spaces for recreation and reflection are essential to the quality of life everywhere. For more than 30 years, Naperville has been recognized as a “Tree City.” Naturally, trees conserve energy, help clean the air, protect rivers and streams and provide a habitat for wildlife.

Here’s lookin’ at you on a sunny day in April. Take a walk in the woods. Remember Arbor Day is April 28, 2023.

The health of trees is the primary reason for pruning. Individuals with questions regarding pruning parkway trees will find info by searching “parkway trees” at www.naperville.il.us. Or go directly to www.naperville.il.us/residents/our-urban-forest/maintenance-and-landscaping.

Meanwhile, the long-trusted Almanac advises “to look for the 4 ‘Ds’—dead, dying, diseased, or damaged branches that should be removed. Also look for spindly or weak growth, as well as any branches that are crossed or rubbing.”

Public safety is another important issue. Low hanging branches can be eye-pokers, especially when the trees stand in the parkway near sidewalks. The low branches can get in the way when folks walk their dogs, especially during after-dark walks. Pruning these low branches is called “limbing up.” Further, pruning can make plants hardier and help them survive winter, too.

Note also when trees have weak, dangling branches that could break off unexpectedly with gusts of wind, they pose a danger to individuals, cars and buildings. If these branches are high up in the tree, very large, or near power lines, it is best to call in a professional tree trimming company. When you see them in a park or throughout the city, contact the city.

Now is a good time to take inventory of the trees on your property. And when you’re looking up, see if you can find any letters. Certainly “A” for arbor is one way to begin.

We still remember the thrill of finding that “A” for P-E-A-C-E all those years ago down at Knoch Knolls.


Thanks for reading what was originally posted, January 8, 2022.

Happy Arbor Day on April 28, 2023!

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.


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