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I'm posting mostly over at Quirky Cookery right now, where I play with my food and teach you to have fun with it, too. Come check me out?

Trees Have Hormones, Too!!

That's right, they do! I don't think I realized it before. Now I've talked to my fair share of trees before, and I've helped more than one through their problems, but I don't think I've ever met one that was going through menopause. Last week, that's exactly what I did.

I wish I had a picture of this tree for you, but I don't. I took one on my phone, but alas, it is not here online, so we're just going to have to make do without. Put on your visual imagination caps and picture this tree with me. From where I was standing on the second floor, I could see her insides with green leaves. On the right hand side, she was had mainly orange leaves, partially wrapping around to the front, where it met with a layer of greenish tinged leaves. On over on the left were dark red leaves...drastically different than the orange ones. There were a few shades of yellows mixed in, too, but they weren't that noticeable. (She was well rounded, though....not tall, thin, and 'beautiful' like the tree above....more like this:)

~edit image~

The color changes were my first clue that she was going through some major changes, but at this point, I must admit my previous error of thinking 'she' was indeed a 'he'. Why? Because across the top, she was starting to lose a thin layer of leaves. She was quite full everywhere else, but you could see bare twigs sticking out the top without leaves. My first reaction? Male pattern baldness, of course. Then I switched to thinking that maybe the color changes were a result of puberty instead, but that wouldn't make sense because he/she was losing leaves, not gaining them. That's when it hit me....he's a she! It turns out, the changes are a result of menopause, not of male baldness or puberty. Does it end there, though? Of course not.I found out later that she's been having major hot flashes over the past while, too. I felt really bad for her because considering the weather around here, I thought maybe I was going through menopause, too. I mean, one day I need to wear a heavy winter coat, gloves, boots, etc, and the next day, I'm wearing a tank top and sandals (okay, so I'm wearing jeans with those, too, but is it really necessary to mention that?) The point is, the poor ol' lass was going crazy! She just didn't know what to think! Hot, cold, hot, cold....loosing leaves, weight changes, color changing (and there was more than just a little gray/yellow....she had a full head of salt 'n' pepper (apple 'n' orange?) leaves), and did I mention the mood swings? Geez, the tree was so emotional! First she was confused because she goes through changes every year, but never like this. Then she was mad because everyone was ignoring her. She was happy I was talking to her, but then she wanted to cry because her body image just wasn't what she wanted any more and she didn't know how to change it. I haven't even begun to discuss her bark condition, but I'll give the poor tree some privacy (I was going to tell you her name, but then I realized that she deserved the right to be anonymous still....maybe it's best that I don't have the right picture anyway...).

Anywho, the point is, the next time you pass a tree that looks like he/she may be a bit distressed, step off your beaten path and say hello....stay and chat for a few, and then move on. Who knows? You might meet a great tree and I'm sure you'll make his/her day! (Don't get 'too' close if you suspect he/she might be going through a major life change like menopause or a midlife crisis, though. Think "Wizard of Oz" apple throwing here. They pack a mean punch when they want to!)

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