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We are in debt to our Dogwood trees

Dogwood blossoms - EJ Kuhling

Dogwood Cornus florida

Common in both forests and urban areas, the native flowering dogwood is a small tree (up to 40 feet) that is known for the beautiful white bracts found around its flowers in the shape of a cross. The red berries of the dogwood are a favorite of birds. However, anthracnose fungus has killed many dogwood trees throughout Delaware in recent years. The wood is very hard and was once used for tool handles.

Dogwood flowers often appear in early spring, but the “true” flower of the dogwood tree is in the center of the cross-shaped bracts. Clusters of bright-red fruit arrive in October.

The Delaware State Champion Dogwood can be found, once again, at the Delaware and Brandywine Cemetery, 701 Delaware Ave., Wilmington. It stands 41 feet tall and has a CBH (circumference) of 73 inches, which equals a diameter of about two feet.

Source: "Big Trees of Delaware, 5th edition"

Dogwood tree next to the parking lot at Abbotts Mill Nature Center

How I go to The Woods

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore not suitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds and hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone, I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an upgrowth of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing.


If you have ever gone into the woods with me, I must love you very much.

author - Mary Oliver

(Note: This poem just showed up one day on my FB feed and I love it. I'm afraid I had never before heard of Mary Oliver, who, sadly, passed away just four years ago. However, she is now one of my favorite poets and I'll be sharing more of her outdoorsy poems in the weeks to come.)

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