It’s Arbor Day –so why dontcha hug a tree?

On my recent jaunts through the neighborhood, I can’t help but notice something new and different on many of the trees. There are odd new appendages that don’t look like bark, branches or buds … nor are they bugs or grubs or birds … hmm, what are they then?

Those “appendages” are white ribbons, part of the white-ribbon campaign to support our healthcare workers and first responders during this COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve seen curling ribbon adorning tiny tree branches, to huge bows with wide ribbon encircling large tree trunks, especially all along Pagel Avenue. There are no white ribbons or bows on my street and I am similarly at fault. I had no ribbons or bows at hand, so I have to honor these folks in spirit only.

The tying of a ribbon around a tree or post is certainly no new concept, and, if I might reach back in time once again, like I did earlier this week for the first Earth Day in 1970, I remember well when Tony Orlando and Dawn’s song first hit the music charts. In fact, this was the #1 song in the U.S. and U.K. in this month of April 1973.

I still know the words to “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” and I’ll bet you do too (if you’re a certain age that is). The first few notes make it easily identifiable, and, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this tune through the years, I’d be a rich woman.

In a world now consumed by worry about the Coronavirus, many remember how yellow ribbons gave props to military personnel through the years. On Memorial Day weekend 2014, I did a post about a military family that kept their faith strong by adorning a tree and pillar with yellow ribbons. A sign out front and a service flag displayed in the window identified them as a family with a loved one in harm’s way.

This is similar to how the white ribbons look now – perhaps you have some in your neighborhood?

Spring continues to load slowly

We’ve had a spate of ugly weather the last ten days or so … excessive wind, relentless rain and sleet. Tuesday morning, graupel had me in its grips when a suddenly bright and sunny sky saw a dark gray cloud move in and the pellets were soon a’flyin’ and pinging off my clothes, toes, nose – you name it. I had chosen to drive to the Park that day to give the car a small run. By the time I reached my car at the other end of the parking lot, pellets were deep into the window well and swirling around the ground. My glasses were fogged up from the face mask and, as I sat in the car while waiting for them to clear, I felt like you do when going through the car wash, only awash in tiny ice balls instead of water. Yikes! By the time I got home, just a mere mile away, the sun was still out, the pavement was bone dry – what just happened here?

The wind has wreaked havoc with the ornamental trees in the ‘hood, those beauties, whose blossoms spill over from weeping branches in a frothy haze in many shades of white or pretty pinks. This is a Weeping Cherry tree that I’ve admired for years and one of a few photos I’ve taken of it in the past.

The homeowner usually has planted cold-weather pansies around his beautifully landscaped front yard by now, but all our garden centers remain closed, at least until the end of the month, due to an Order from the Governor and much to the chagrin of most local gardeners.

This tree pictured below is an “early bloomer” as well and often full of singing Starlings as I round the last bend on Pagel Avenue, enroute to Council Point Park.

In recent treks through the ‘hood I’ve seen these ornamental trees assaulted by wicked winds, pelting sleet or graupel and to top it off, we had a hard freeze early Wednesday morning. A few homeowners had put a protective covering over their ornamental trees to keep them looking good. Thankfully, it’s a bit early for the magnolia trees to bloom or else their petals would be similarly scattered to the wind. They are just in bud now.

I had to chuckle to myself when the weatherman quipped that “Mother Nature is in a March state of mind.” The weather, like everything else, continues to boggle our minds. Stay safe.

[The tree hugger is courtesy of Pinterest; it is not a selfie of Yours Truly]

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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48 Responses to It’s Arbor Day –so why dontcha hug a tree?

  1. Sandra J says:

    I do appreciate trees and would hug mine in the back yard if it were not for the ants all over it. 🙂 I have not heard of the white ribbons yet in this area. The green houses are open down here though. And I started a couple flower seeds in pots in the house being the weather is not wanting to warm up yet. I love the starling photo, they are so colorful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Schaub says:

    Good morning Sandra – I appreciate trees too and love that first warm Spring day when all the trees leaf out and it feels like a huge canopy when you walk or drive down the street. We lost three trees to Carpenter ants which we had inside and outside for years – two big Oaks in the backyard and a Locust tree in the front yard. We had Orkin exterminators for years and our HVAC guy saw dead ant bodies (from the pesticide that Orkin used) and mentioned that he had good experiences in his two or three rental homes with a small exterminator company. We called them, they found the nest in the basement (I told Orkin I saw a flying ant in the light fixture years before to no avail). This new company (Pest Masters of Livonia) took apart the dropped ceiling, sprayed marigold dust (not pesticide and safe for people and pets) and ant bodies fell out – the end of Carpenter ants forever. I thought you might enjoy the Starling photo – I did not capture his iridescent colors though in this picture. P.S. – Don’t hug those trees or you will have ants in your pants. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Uncle Tree says:

    HaPPy ArBoR DaY, Linda! 🙂 Wrap me in ribbons and bows.
    Hug me with a flowery bouquet, and scent me to the heavens.
    Dance around about me like you have ants in your pants. LoL
    Feel the love surrounding us that puts a spring in our steps,
    as we await the renewal which brings light into our hearts.

    What the heck is a graupel? You made me search the word.
    Good to see the grass grow, and hear the song of a bird.

    Staying in place is quite familiar to me.
    Accept the best wishes from your old Uncle Tree. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eliza says:

      I love your bark, and branches, and the breeze you bring.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you for your well wishes Uncle Tree!

      I thought you’d get a kick out of this post. Trees are meant to be adorned … there are plenty on Pagel Avenue, up and down the street. I almost broke my “I-shall-not-carry-the-camera-with-me-while-walking-right-now-edict” to take some shots, but I was good. Yes, ants in the pants if you go hugging trees, no offense to you or to insinuate you have ants of course!

      Did you find an image of graupel? I had never heard of it either til the weatherman used it all the time and explained it. It is like hail only smaller, and it pings off your clothes unlike sleet which is wetter, or freezing rain, this is not slushy, they are tiny ice balls. They are white – hail is clear. We had a hailstorm recently, the size of golf balls, but in the northern burbs, ours was just small hail. Online weather said “graupel at 11:00 a.m. – I figured I had plenty of time and it was sunny and blue skies. I was wrong.

      You will stay in place and don’t need a quarantine to do so. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza says:

    I was wondering:) about the hugger I mean.
    I love how you get such distant photos. I’m jealous! I think I’ve told you that before.
    Hope the weather clears up… 💕💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I was looking on Pinterest, where I am usually successful for finding anything I’ve not taken a photo of and there were not one photo with a tree with a white ribbon at all. I was bummed, so I decided to look for tree huggers – there were several and I liked this one best. Thank you Ellie. I am enjoying your photos and glad you are taking more photos for your blog these days. The weather is not so nice this weekend either, rain over two days. We need some warmth to get the tulips up and blooming. We have March weather here now – the groundhog has his star status reduced to ordinary!

      Like

  5. Joni says:

    Oh I loved that yellow ribbon song! I have only seen one white ribbon here, and wondered what it was there for, so thanks for explaining that. Many people here have red and white signs on their front lawns thanking frontline and health care workers, with the proceeds either going to the hospital or the foodbank. You would have been proud of me Linda, yesterday I walked in the rain. I’ve also walked in snow-showers a couple of days, only missing 2 days out of the past months. Not sure when I’ll get out today, as I am waiting for Purolator to deliver art boards I ordered over 3 weeks ago – but at least they are coming! I haven’t seen a leaf or a flower here on any trees, just buds trying…..all next week cold again, never a day above 50. April was a washout.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I also loved that song Joni – it came out the year I graduated high school. I’ve seen one or two of those red/white signs on the same street with the white ribbons – maybe they have lots of first responders and healthcare personnel live on Pagel? Here some local companies have taken to sending meals to feed a contingent of healthcare workers at a hospital or a police or fire precinct. That has happened the past few weeks. It has been not only to give them a meal but to give some business to the restaurants to keep them in business as they will have another two weeks of the Order just extended to May 15th (so takeout only). In the last week, two hospital corporations have laid off almost 3,000 workers (some medical, some administrative – it was because they are not scheduling elective surgeries yet – they will return when COVID-19 is over and have kept their health benefits, but still – they were crying for nurses three weeks ago to help staff the two field hospitals. They are 1,000 bed hospitals and under 30 people in each hospital. So maybe things are better in Detroit now.

      I am proud of you walking in less-than-perfect conditions. We had the graupel which they predicted for late morning, but it was sunny and bright when I left and I figured I had plenty of time – ice pellets galore and driving home they were flying everywhere, We have flowering trees out, but the rest of the trees, just starting to unfurl leaves, but not full-sized leaves … we have a long way to go yet- yes, April was a washout and rain again over the weekend. Hopefully May is better and you can get some pictures on your walk of lilacs and tulips which should be out by then.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean says:

    Those yellow ribbons were everywhere at one point. Now I rarely see them. I didn’t know about tying a white ribbon around a tree, but whatever gives people a sense of hope and is a contribution to the good of all I’m for it. Small gestures can mean a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, I remember them well Ally, especially during Operation Desert Storm. People had them on trees and house pillars, even pole lights. Yes, it is a nice gesture to those who must go out every day in the modern-day trenches and a comfort to their anxious families who tough it out at home, anxious if they will get sick in the process. We had a five-year old girl who died this week. Both parents are first responders (mom a police officer; father a fireman) – she has become the symbol of the City of Detroit during this pandemic … originally it was said that children were immune to this virus.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t seen ribbons adorning a tree in a long time. Maybe this crisis will bring it back. Lovely photos. Our blooming trees took a beating this week. Seems like every year there is something to brutalize the flowers. This year it was wind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, it is nice to see them as I walk along Kate – if nothing else, this pandemic is making people think of others. We’ve had high winds for two weeks straight – today was the exception, but there are tree seeds of every type blowing around and on the ground out there. I really like that Weeping Cherry tree and walked down that street to come home and the owner was out – I almost said “I put your tree in my blog today!”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I will look for white ribbons the next time we go out. I haven’t noticed any yet, but I’m not always the quickest to spot things.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Laurie says:

    I remember the Tony Orlando song form years ago! I have not seen any white ribbons yet but now I will be on the lookout.

    I agree with that weatherman and I am ready for Mother Nature to be in a MAY state of mind. Every day is gray, cloudy, and/or windy and cold. I should be thankful we didn’t have any graupel!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That song was popular my last year in high school. There were no white ribbons on our street either Laurie – maybe some first responders or healthcare folks live on that other street as they had lots of ribbons.

      I liked that quip about Mother Nature’s mix-up and I hope she changes her tune soon. It was from the weather folks that are based in your state. I’ve not even taken out any lighter clothing yet … no rush to do so. We’ve had the same weather as you and the graupel was horrible, though it didn’t last too long..

      Like

  10. What a lovely post, Linda. I really like the tree that is #3 from the top down. It’s beautiful! Do you happen to know the name of it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Martha – glad you liked it. Yes, I do know – it is a Weeping Cherry. I asked the homeowner a few years ago. In fact, he was outside when I was walking home today (it is not in my immediate neighborhood) and I almost told him I featured his tree, (which is currently in bloom and looks like it does here), on my blog today. It is the centerpiece of his front yard. He has done a wonderful landscaping job – he is not a landscaper, it’s just a hobby. He’s a computer tech.

      Like

  11. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………………………that is right …………….”we are in a March state of mind alright”…………………………………we are one month behind on Spring……………………………..all of the trees up and down Biddle Ave in Wyandotte have white ribbons tied to them nearest to the hospital………………I’m happy about that

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, and a chilly and rainy weekend (well Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon anyway) in store. It was more Spring-like in March for goodness sake. Really – I didn’t know that … I should have gone there and taken pics for this post. I never thought about that. I’ve not taken the camera with me at all on my walks since the beginning of April. That must be a nice sight to see.

      Like

  12. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………………Oh and i forgot to tell you that my favorite magnolia bus trees are all brown from the low temps…………………………………………on Reeck Rd and Goddard rd

    Like

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Oh no! I didn’t realize any magnolias were out yet Ann Marie. It was be in a sunny spot and opened sooner. I know where all the magnolia trees are in the neighborhood and none are out yet, just buds – this was a photo from last year. That’s a real shame. That must have been that hard freeze we had Wednesday morning. My ornamental tree had that happen one year – the year Michigan lost most of its apple and cherry crops when temps got very low in May. It had leafed out and the killing frost gave it “freezer burn” – the leaves did not fall off but they turned a funny color of light brown and all of those types of trees in the neighborhood did the same thing. The following year it was fine – I worried about it; I planted it in 1985, so it was not a “newbie” tree.

      Like

  13. I don’t know if they are doing the ribbons here. I rarely go anywhere but the few times I have I didn’t see any here. What a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, it is a great idea Diane and my friend Ann Marie, whose husband was recently in a nearby hospital for COVID-19, told me to go along the street leading up to the hospital, so I took the car and did this today – just amazing, every tree along Biddle Avenue had a huge white ribbon, all identical.

      Like

      • Awwww how nice! I’m so glad her husband is better! My daughter worked all weekend in ICU and now wants to because an ICU nurse. Grandkids may be here all summer. She is being exposed every day she works.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, it’s been a long haul for him … 3 weeks starting February 12th at the hospital including a week in the ICU, then 3 weeks at step down then back there after a few weeks at home – what a year. I am thinking the grandkids will be there all Summer too the way things are going. Good thing you are retired now!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my goodness! Yes very good thing I’m retired Linda!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Health care workers, grocery store workers, and people in similar situations all need to be honored and given heartfelt appreciation for what they do. They, of course, are risking their lives to help others.
    Stay safe and healthy, Linda… and keep close to nature as you have been doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I agree Tom – I hope the grocery store workers are commended as well, though I understand that stricter masking-up rules are in order now and all the grocery store workers will now be tested. Thank you Tom – you too. I am getting out almost every day to walk – we have not had great weather lately and am still masking up with no camera so I’m not fiddling around near my face.

      Like

  15. I had to goggle Arbour day. I think thats an American holiday only. If you want to hug our trees your going to need many friends!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ruthsoaper says:

    I haven’t seen any white ribbons but I only travel the same 1 1/2 miles everyday. This is the first year I have ever heard the weathermen use the term graupel. I guess I have seen it more in the past week or so than I ever remember seeing it as well. Maybe that’s why.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I never heard if t until a couple of years ago Ruth. I follow Paul Gross and Accuweather (on WWJ and online for my zipcode). Paul Gross actually takes photos of the graupel and/or hail when that happens and posts it online. So I found it interesting … until I got caught in it the other day.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. There are red ribbons tied to the trees in a yard on my neighborhood walk. I wondered about them each time I passed, but completely forgot when I got home (not an uncommon occurrence 🙂 ). Your post prompted me to google red ribbon on trees and found that they “show unity for the country and encourage support for each other.” Not a bad sentiment either. I hope you had a lovely Arbor Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That’s interesting Janis – California was the first state to incur victims of the Coronavirus, wasn’t it? I’ve not seen the red ribbons here – I like that idea too. Everyone is in this crisis together essentially. My friend who follows my blog by e-mail told me the whole long street in Wyandotte by a huge hospital has trees with white ribbons. Her husband was recently in this hospital and she saw the beribboned trees when she went to pick him up and bring him home (hospital was on lockdown).

      Like

  18. Pam Lazos says:

    I live to find a good sturdy tree with a wide bark and lean against it and exchange energy with the tree, Linda. Crazy, huh?!🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  19. You can’t beat hugging a tree ❤. What a lovely idea with ribbons tied around trees.

    Liked by 1 person

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