Cousin Phillip made this wheel from a piece of an Osage Orange tree from Grandma Copt's farm in Osage City, Kansas. The sun light steaming through the front window today drew my eye right here. That must have been a humongous tree! We burn this kind of wood, known as hedge, in the sauna stove. It is a brilliant yellow when split. This warm color reflects the warmth of the sun, and the wood burns hot and slow. Also, this is the tree that produces hedge apples. I use them as bug repellent in my basement. I have only seen squirrels eat them and only occasionally. Otherwise those hedge apples are sometimes used as bowling balls when sister Lois and children come to visit, and once I tried cutting them into discs and drying them in the oven for holiday decor. That didn't work very well for me. Oh, and this wood makes excellent fence posts.

An der Urania — Berlin

The view from our window at Motel One Berlin am KaDeWe. Because 80% of Berlin was bombed at the end of WWII, you can imagine the construction for new everything. Wide boulevards are separated by expansive medians like this one full of trees. All the trees around the Tiergarten, which is where this is, were planted in 1955 when I was 5. I marveled at how strong and beautiful these trees are. They packed a wallop that has stayed with me.