Out and about this morning more than I wanted to be due to the -13 below zero temperature, I happened to be driving down a street that I have traveled often times before and couldn’t help myself from stopping to take a photo of a tree that caught my eye. It reminds me of some of the inspiring photos I have seen over the years depicting the Tree of Life. The Druid and Celtic religions believed that trees harbored entities such as gods, spirits of the underworld and elves. I am a great proponent of mindfully planting trees for not only our enjoyment but also the enjoyment of future generations. The general public has little knowledge of how long it takes to grow a hardwood tree. I smile to myself every time I drive thru a new subdivision and see grand homes with tiny trees dotting the yards of the neighborhood. I had a conversation not too many months ago with one of the members of the city council regarding the planned disposition of the flood buyout property near East Park. I understand some of the thoughts were to create a sort of wild flower and prairie grass area. I personally feel that if the existing trees in the area were trimmed up so that there would be a higher “canopy”, then more uses could be implemented in those blocks. It could easily become a community garden area for public use or even a flower garden area similar to the flower and shrub garden in Clear Lake. The soil in that area would be conducive to growing just about anything due to it being of a lighter soil composition. Once the rest of the homes are removed, I believe the powers that be will see the whole picture of possibilities for those blocks. I wouldn’t be surprised that if with careful planning and vision, the area possibly becoming yet another tourist attraction. We have beautiful structural attractions here in Mason City, so why not have a few more natural attractions? In closing, the photo here is of a Sycamore tree that is growing in that flood buyout area. It’s a real winter beauty. Wouldn’t you agree?