Saturday, May 03, 2008

Aspen Lodge

I really love Quaking Aspens! From the silvery bark to the pale green/gray of the leaves in the spring to the striking gold of the fall foliage. I absolutely think that they are one of the prettiest (non-flowering) trees around!

A few years back, I planted three of them in front of my condo; sort-of as a little screening between my home and the neighbor's, they give me hours of joy as I sit on my deck reading, listening to the wind rustle the leaves. I also love watching them as the slightest breeze makes the leaves shake and shuffle. It is the flat stem that connects the leaves to the branches that allow the slightest breeze to make the whole tree come alive. It is this physiology of the tree that gives the tree its name.

This spring, I decided to extend the privacy screening a bit and add a few trees to the planting I had done. They are fast growing, so the new trees will soon be high enough to help extend the privacy screening between the buildings, and there will be all that much more color for me to revel in immediately.

While I was living abroad, one of the things I loved about the villages I lived in and frequented, was the naming of all the homes. Every home, it seems, has a name. And these names are descriptive of the home. In Thames Ditton, there is a home called "The Dormers" whose main outstanding aspect is the inclusion these unusual curved dormers that grace the roof line. Then there is "Two Trees" which retains its name, though the two huge oaks that used to grace the front garden are now just stumps. "River Cottage" is on a side-street overlooking the Thames, and "Ivy Lodge" is, of course, covered in a thick matting of ivy from the ground to the roof line.

My guess, though I have no independent proof of this. - I'd love to get either confirmation or correction of this assertion. - Is that the names predate the general literacy of the population. It makes as much sense as any other explanation I can come-up with. I am imagining that it started out as someone giving directions:
Go down to the house with the dormers, you'll know the one... then turn right and continue down the road until you get to the house with the two trees out front.The the smith lives in the little cottage at the end of the road covered with ivy."

The directions (I imagine)would have eventually been shortened by dropping some of the "extra" words: "Go down to The Dormers, turn right and continue to the Two Trees. The smith lives in the Ivy Cottage at the end of the road."
In this spirit, I have decided that my home will now (even if not officially) will have a name. Henceforth, I plan to refer to my home as the Aspen Lodge. I think it gives it an old-world charm.

Wherever you are, I hope you're doing something today to make your world a more beautiful place!

Don Bergquist - May 03, 2008 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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