So with moss beginning to form between my toes, this is the time of year I start wondering how a beach girl like me ended up here. And dream of running away to a cottage by the sea. *sigh*
Then, lo and behold, on a walk with my dog, I spy a most unusual thing in the middle of a forest of Douglas fir and cedar. Yes, I recognized it immediately. A broadleaf evergreen - still decked in its shiny green leaves when every other deciduous tree has long since dropped theirs. But how could it be? There are no trees like these within 30 or 40 miles, with their primary range starting 150 miles to the south.
I walked closer to be sure, and yes . . .
There was the telltale red peeling bark on its trunk. I know these trees - they grow all over Northern California and Southern Oregon, in climates a bit warmer and sunnier than here.
A Madrone Tree.
But what was it doing there - all by its lonesome? I've trekked through these woods on foot and horseback and never seen another. Perhaps a bird dropped its seed here? Or a madrone seed fell from the track or tire of a piece of equipment working in the woods? Never mind. There - in a sunny clearing where it shouldn't be at all - grew a small, but apparently sturdy and hardy little madrone tree, about 15-20 feet tall.
It made my heart glad to spot such a familiar face, and maybe there is a message for me here, too. Perhaps I should quit whining and complaining about my whereabouts - and dreaming about places far away - and do like the little madrone.
Thrive and grow where I am planted.
Trust me. I am working on it.