Once the girls were born, we knew we wanted to plant trees with them. We planted the willow tree and maple tree when Sophia and Olivia were toddlers on Father's Day. They were eager about putting the tree into the hole in the ground and filling it back up with soil.
The willow tree is to the left in the photo - the large, round tree.
We've planted evergreens for several years along the north and west part of our farm.
We had a tiny grove of pine trees starting in the front yard
until Japanese beetles destroyed them.
The tree plantings sometimes take as little as 10 minutes, and other times up to an hour (if we are planting a lot of trees. The impact, however, has lasted for many years. (However, this past year quite a few of the trees we planted in the past five years were lost to Japanese beetles which was frustrating.)
With the exception of the grove of pine trees in the front yard, we have witnessed the daily and monthly growth of the girls and their trees.
We have watched an increase in birds over the years - more wrens, black-capped chickadees, woodpeckers, blue jays, and cardinals.
Baby wrens in a nest on July 25, 2010.
In the summer, we sometimes would sit under the trees and read...
During the winter, when the cold wind was blocked by the branches, we felt warmer.
Trees grow like children - they seem so small for such a long time.
The girls in their Easter dresses in 2008.
Sophia was 7 and Olivia was 5.
Then, all of a sudden, they're young ladies.
The girls on Christmas Eve in 2012.
Sophia was almost 12 and Olivia was 10.
Now, Sophia is entering her senior year in high school and Olivia is entering her sophomore year in high school.
The willow and maple trees have grown to be well over 20 feet tall.
Do the girls remember planting all the trees? Some of the them.
Each day that we see the trees, we see something more. It is a measurement of time passing and of our small daughters growing into young women.
The girls with Santa in 2008 and 2017.
Sophia was almost 8 and 17; and
Olivia was almost 6 and 15.