There were also thousands of woodland ferns that disappeared from the forest floor but after three years, these are returning in surprising abundance. Their curly fronds shine bright against a leaf littered collage of brown.
Today's walk took me around the potential mini-forest currently overrun with brambles. Poplar trees threaten to overwhelm the slow-growing hardwoods while some of our trees have succumbed to drought and animal damage.
It is hard to distinguish planted trees from brush. I know they are in there, but where?
Look very hard through this mix of gray stems amid rusty brown leaves and you will see a feint blur of green. That green belongs to a hemlock. There are several hidden in the brambles.
Barely visible, these hemlocks give me hope. I have hope that there are other trees in there. That there are trees there slowly maturing, now storing energy absorbed last summer. It is November so they are preparing for their short winter rest.
We have left the briers hopping their thorns will provide a bit of protection until the trees are mature enough to shade the ground. Hoping that our grand children will explore under a canopy of oaks and maples while they playfully lob hazel nuts and acorns at each other.
I am thankful for the regeneration of the forest