This week requires a list of natural resources near where you’ve lived or in your region. I chose to write about the flora and fauna in my neighborhood, starting with the plants and trees on our property: pink rhododendrons that flanked the porch, red rose bushes that groped their way along our neighbor’s garage, wisteria like soft blue cabbages that lined the storm cellar boundaries, and the big oak tree below the brick retaining wall. Its leaves grazed the windows of the front bedrooms. Its acorns scattered across our slate landing (now gone) like bags and bags of jacks. The oak tree is gone now. Maybe its roots upended too many concrete blocks of sidewalk.
The neighbor across the street had an elm tree, but it was on the property itself and not on the curb. The house next to it had a mimosa tree whose leaves curled up at night to sleep. Farther down the block, some house had a Japanese maple. The block above us had a horse chestnut tree and now I wonder whether Chestnut Street had any chestnut trees and whether Maple Street had maples, Beech Street any beech trees, Elm Street any elms, Hickory Street any hickory trees. I doubt Forest Street ever had a forest except in Lenni Lenape times.
Here is the realtor’s photo of the house my father bought and we moved into in February 1959.