Copyright 2013 by Leslie Varsava. All rights reserved.

speckled alder

The small and shrubby speckled alder
Along the shore of the stream does live
This little tree has superpowers
A rare capacity to give

It seizes nitrogen from the sky
And then, with its leaves that fall
Enriches the soil and the water
Providing this nutrient to all

Beavers use the speckled alder
For building dams, the supreme source
Its catkin flowers the bees savor
Birds adore the seeds, of course

The dense tangle at the shoreline
Shelters creatures big and small
Amongst its roots down in the stream
Water creatures swim and crawl

And when a storm sends a deluge
The alders’ roots safeguard the shore
So you see why the saintly alder
Is a plant that I adore

Source: Up North by Doug Bennet and Tim Tiner