It always surprises me in the spring, we're going along... there's a mud phase where the dirt begins to awaken and it smells different than winter. And a few early things like a crocus or two pop up. And grass begins to get less brown.
And then one day, the leaves on the trees come out.
Oh, they're not done sprouting. They're still small and folded over and not nearly as dark green as they'll get. But you get enough of the early leaves to pop open and suddenly you can't see through the branches anymore.
When we lived in Laurium, there was a medium maple in the front yard which had huge leaves. One day it would be branches, with maybe the appearance of green fuzz and then there'd be GREEN. And shade. Changes the neighborhood. And now you had to duck on the sidewalk to get to the front door. (grin)
Before we bought our current house, I did a rough count of the pine trees on the lot. Came to about 122, ±10% easily. Over twenty years we've lost 20-50%. It's hard to tell. They are all so much taller than before that the canopy is thicker and sometimes I am surprised to spot a new downfall deep in our tiny woods. And a bunch were cut down along the power lines. And in the back yard they've pretty much all burned up in the summer heat, since they were so exposed.
But some scrub trees have showed up, filling in some of the spaces in the edges. Fast growing, too. You just don't notice them since the jack pines are so insanely tall now.
We had them put in a gravel turnaround in the driveway when we bought the place, an excellent investment. There've been some bushes and weedy things growing there on the east side of the property. This week I noticed that with the leaves out, I can no long really see the road from my living room chair -- the bushes have gotten tall enough and bushy enough with their leaves to make another windbreak to our property.
Letting the yard go wild for twenty years has certainly been an interesting experience. And as Jeff Goldblum's character in Jurassic Park says, "Nature will find a way."