Having grown up in Staten Island, NY, I learned the value of trees when I was very young, as they were almost the only living things that could survive the encasement of their roots by the endless concrete of the city scape.
I loved to watch them change colors as the seasons passed, and delighted in their yearly denizens of squirrels and birds.
On our 43 acres, we have all kinds of trees - hickory's, elms, oaks, dogwoods - an endless array of shapes, sizes and colors. And with them come a wide variety of creatures, large and small, who call them home - from the tiniest screech owls to the majestic pair of bald eagles that call our woods home several months of the year.
To be able to sit amongst the trees, and have these creatures literally come right up to you, investigating for food or other resources - it's a marvel that so many city kids will never experience, except for the occasional pigeons and a hungry squirrel here or there. I've actually had deer and wild turkeys come right up to my camp chair in the evenings (yes, we don't have the smartest turkeys in the world), before wandering off in search of other things.
I have to pinch myself sometimes that we're so lucky to live here in nature, in our little cabin. I miss the conveniences of the big city - close by department stores, large grocery stores, a movie theater - but when you weigh that against an evening around the campfire, joking with friends and listening to the wind rustle the leaves in the trees while the coyotes call...well, let's just say it's a trade off I can live with.