We have a lot of trees around our house (I _love_ trees -- that was one thing that attracted me to this house in the first place:) including a now-large Japanese maple (I've shared the lovely red leaves it gets in the fall here before:). Underneath that maple are oodles of little offspring from it's annual shed of spinners.
Between our house and the next-door-on-the-right neighbor's, there used to be a lovely Kwan Yoon cherry tree which died away a few years ago (they are of determinate growth, meaning they live only so long). The neighbor asked for and transplanted two of the Japanese maple's seedlings into the spot the cherry used to occupy. I noticed this fall that one of them turns red and one bright yellow-gold in fall.
This morning I went out to stroll around the front as I was waiting for my sweetheart to get dressed (so we could drive to the store) and I happened to look over at one of the (leafless) Japanese maple transplants. They have both sprung up quickly to be quite high (well taller than I am:) in only a couple of years -- seedlings can only grow to the capacity of their environment to supply nutrients and sunlight; under the mother tree, they stay small many more years than one might expect. When the mother tree falls (or they get transplanted by some Deus ex machina human:), there is a mighty scramble to outgrow one another to replace her, using the newly-available resources. :)
I was struck as I looked at the tree-let by how muscular and animal-like the trunk looks! The bark is very smooth and skin-like, as you can see. How lovely. :) (Behind the trunk is a small pile of kindling near my neighbor's garage door.)
This is the time of year that those wonderful 'neutral' colored Daiwabo-style Japanese fabrics portray (in my humble:). Maybe I have come to appreciate the fallow season of winter in my middle age? :)