CorkyFall might just be the best time of year for exploring the outdoors in New England. I love walking in beautiful natural places like Mt. Auburn Cemetery and Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary. I used to be a regular visitor to the Arnold Arboretum too, but haven't wanted to go back there since the demise of Corky, the Arboretum's much-loved cork tree. Running a hand over Corky's smooth bark and sitting on that inviting low branch that parallelled the ground was always the highlight of an Arboretum walk. I've been thinking about that lately, and wanting to see a picture of Corky, so I checked our Massachusetts Newstand database and found this article: Remembering an Irresistible Tree. A search of the Arboretum's website also turned up an article entitled Requiem for a Cork Tree from Arnoldia, their quarterly magazine.
Corky is gone, but at least there's a small bit of consolation in having these articles and photos, and the technology that enables us to enjoy them. Amazingly, it's been sixteen years since a class of 6th graders gave Corky his last group hug. That's much too long to have stayed away from the jewel that is the Arboretum. And anyway, I heard that those kids planted a new cork tree as a way of making amends. I really should go back soon and see how that one's coming along.

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