Hackberry Trees, Family Visits, and Other News Fresh From the Farm

Inside: When leaves fall off your hackberry tree in early summer, don’t panic. Plus bittersweet family visits over Father’s Day weekend and other observations.

Hackberry trees, family visits

When Your Hackberry Tree Loses Its Leaves in Early Summer, Don’t Panic!

A few weeks ago as we were settling into June, I noticed a strange phenomenon happening outside my front door. One of my favorite trees, my beloved hackberry, started shedding leaves. The wind had kicked up that day, and whenever we’d get a hearty gust, a shower of lime green leaves would fall to the ground. After a day of windy weather, the leaves covered my outdoor table and chairs, which sat directly underneath my lovely tree due to the thick canopy of leaves it normally provided. Over the course of several days, those tender lime green leaves kept falling, blowing out into the rest of the yard, resembling a sort of odd-colored autumn come too early.

I panicked.

Then I prayed. After all this was one of my favorite trees in the yard, and I didn’t want to lose it. At some point it occurred to me to consult the internet where I found post after post on the subject of hackberry leaf drop. I learned that unseasonably cold spring temperatures can damage leaf buds or newly developing leaves, causing the leaves to drop. It’s nothing permanent.

Some of the leaves did survive on my hackberry tree, pictured above. So my favorite shady spot under my favorite tree is still there for me to enjoy peaceful summer mornings–just with a little dappled sunshine.


Family Visits, Bittersweet, Over Father’s Day Weekend

My younger brother Jeremy and his family came for a visit this past week. While it’s always good to see him, Ricci, and the kids, the timing was bittersweet for us–our first Father’s Day without Dad. Dad’s absence was strongly felt, and in our private moments we grieved yet again.

At the same time, Mom celebrated her birthday on the first day of summer. Over Boston cream cake, coconut cream pie, and home-churned chocolate ice cream we shared memories of Dad as well as funny stories of other family members and friends. It was good to gather, to laugh, and to reminisce. Many of those stories were Dad’s, retold by Jeremy who carries on the legacy, whether he knows it or not, of being the family storyteller. Dad would have loved it. And he would have had seconds on the coconut cream pie–his all-time favorite!

Family visits and the pure joy of being a kid.
Victoria at play. Picture courtesy of Ricci Harke.

I love this picture of my niece Victoria (of Way to Go, Birds! fame) running through the sprinkler, something I remember doing myself. The pure joy of being a kid on a farm, lovingly captured by my sis-in-law Ricci.

Pulpit Pondering

I heard this at church last week from our pastor, and it has stuck with me: “In life, you can’t get what you want. You can only get what you think.” If there has been one lesson I’ve been learning this year, it has been that to change my life, I need to change my thinking. In some cases, drastic shifts. While I’ve made some progress, I’ve still got a ways to go. I am blessed to share my reflections with you, the reader, along the way.

How did your week go? Tell us about it in the comments.

Related posts: Bucking Bales: A Family Tradition

Way to Go, Birds!


Faith, Family, and Farm


2 Responses

  1. calensariel

    I’ve never heard of a hackberry tree. It’s a lovely, canopy, isn’t it! My favorite is General Mapleon who stands outside my morning room window and shields me from all prying eyes! He’s very lush and busy. I feel like he has his arms around me up in a tree house. 😀

    It is hard, those firsts I mean. You’d think years afterwards they would recede a little into lovely hazy memories. But here we are 20 years later this year from losing dad and my memories are so sharp and clear. And 19 years since we lost mom. (Sometimes I can’t believe how old I am!!!)

    “In life, you can’t get what you want. You can only get what you think.” THAT IS THE HARDEST THING ON EARTH TO DO!!!

    • amy@amyharkemoore.com

      Ain’t it the truth! It really takes a lot of time to begin to change our thinking. and while I can’t speak for others on the “how,” for myself, meditating on God’s love for me has worked wonders–though not as quickly as I would like. 🙂

      Love General Mapleon! Sounds like a great idea for a children’s book.