"That is the fairest of all the dwellings of my people. There are no trees like the trees of that land. For in the autumn their leaves fall not, but turn to gold. Not till the spring and the new green opens do they fall, and then the boughs are laden with yellow flowers; and the floor of the wood is golden, and golden is the roof, and its pillars are of silver, for the bark of the trees is smooth and grey."
-- Legolas, elf of the Woodland Realm, describes his homeland Lothlorien, in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
I thought I had been transported to an enchanted elven forest today, as I walked in the silvery spell of a beech grove in the Skidmore Woods, a radiant sun pouring down warmth from a cobalt sky, the translucent leaves of the baby beeches fluttering in the slightest breeze, setting the air alight. At last we had a lovely warm day that truly felt like Spring!
Pretty pink Hepaticas were holding their newly opened faces to the sun.
Even their tattered leftover leaves were glowing like rubies, lit from beneath by rays that made it all the way down through the trees to the forest floor.
And wonder of wonders, all the frog princes were filling the air with their songs of love!
Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers were sharing a pond, and oh, how the forest rang!