INTRO
WHEN I WAS FIFTEEN
ALONG 693
THE ABORTION PALACE
GROWING UP, TWO AMERICAS
ANNIVERSARY 1984
TO BETTY, 1982
BEYOND NORTH MOUNTAIN
THE BRANDY LINE (ABOUT A FAVORITE GOAT)
CHICAGO AND NORTHWESTERN
DREAM OF CHARLES DE LANGLADE
YOU CALL ME FOLLY MILLS
THE ODYSSEY OF GLOOMY GUS
HILLS
IMPATIENS CAPENSIS
I DIDN'T KNOW YOU THEN
AFTER YOU LANGLADE
WAITING ON LARAMIE CREEK
THE LESSON
LITTLE RIVER
MEMORY
MUSIC AT THE JACKSON
THE HUMAN CONDITION IS NOT
OLD DOMINION
OLD MAN TO HIMSELF
OLD RIDER
CALLING OWLS
FROM THE TALE OF PETER MINK
MAKE REVOLUTION
THE SCRAPER
MY SHIP
SNAPSHOT
TO OUR SONS, 1982
SPRING PEEPERS
TED
TREES OF NEW JERSEY
A TRUE DOCTOR
DEATH OF WILBUR
BY WINNEBAGO'S SHORE
©Poems of R.F.Mueller- Other Times, Other Thoughts

THE ADVANTAGE OF INTELLIGENCE
R.F. Mueller


I've always admired the beech, a tree
that thrives in cool, moist woodland,
which, strangely, also gives it frost protection in spring,
allowing it to bud early there.
So when I transplanted one to my open yard
it budded out on schedule, but froze its leaves.
It survived, but promptly renounced its woodland habit,
and leafed out much later from then on
—proving that trees can learn as well as we!

 

annotation

This American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) sapling came from a cool, moist forest on the north-facing slope of "Pileated Peak", a 300 foot hill on our property that was named by my son Gus. The hill was named after the large Pileated Woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) that are so common there. However, I made the mistake of planting it in shallow soil over a limestone ledge, an environment inhospitable to Beech, which, as I later discovered, likes acidic soil. Consequently, although the tree recovered from the shock of transplantation and continues to survive, it doesn't thrive, and is small for its age.