A tree stands sentinel outside my living room windows. It's a type of oak and has a lot of gall(s). I thought they might be some kind of seed pods but according to my Word Finder, a gall is described as "a growth produced by insects or fungus on plants and trees, esp. on oak." What made me think they might be seed pods was seeing birds peck on them. Maybe they aren't seeds. Maybe they're little insect condos and the birds attack on a fairly regular basis.
There's a sidewalk's width between the tree and this building. Apparently, some years ago the residents living closest to the tree complained about branches hitting the building. So the city had the offending growth chopped off. From my view, it sort of reminds me of a doll house, where one outside wall is non-existent and allows you to watch the goings on. Believe me, every once in a while there is something going on that elicits a chuckle. Birds can be just as crazy as humans when it comes to behavior. I sometimes wonder who learned it from whom. There have been sparrows, chickadees, blue jays, robins and a couple cardinals. There was even a downy woodpecker earlier in the spring. I haven't seen any mourning doves this year but when they do come around, they seem to prefer the courtyard on the other side of the building.
Near the base of the trunk, the oak can't be much more than twelve inches in diameter, although I admit it's hard to judge when you're looking down at it from a third floor apartment. The distance can skew your perspective. Because it's so slender it sways a lot. (think of those balloon-like thingies that you sometimes see at gas stations, or in from of businesses that might have something special going on. they get shots of air that make them bend, wiggle and sway as if they were alive.) While this tree can't wiggle, it certainly is more 'limber' than I am in the way it can move. The higher the wind, the more it bends. This past winter we had wind gusts that got pretty high and I thought for sure the trunk was either going to snap or the whole tree was going to go over. Fortunately, neither scenario occurred. One afternoon in early spring, a couple blue jays were sitting on one of the branches. They were hanging on to that branch as the wind picked up. Their feathers were getting slightly ruffled but their balance became a bit precarious. Needless to say, they didn't stay on that branch very long.
When there are no birds around (which is rare since there are nests beneath the edge of the roof of this building. Even when the nests are empty the birds appreciate the shelter from bad weather, no matter the season) I like to just watch the tree, watch the thin branches and the leaves ripple in the slightest breeze and the sunlight. I can let my mind wander, consider new writing plots or figure out how to fix a scene to make it better. There are no dull moments where the tree is concerned. Who knows, it could end up in one of those scenes. As long as I'm living here, I'll watch it grow and dance with the winds.