primsong: (rain tree)
I've been reading an interesting book on how various plants were first introduced to North America and how they became established, hybridized, etc. over time.  Under the entry on weeping willows I was enchanted to find the first were brought to the US by an admirer of Alexander Pope, an Anglican clergyman, philosopher and author named Samuel Johnson.  Enamoured with the tree, he was gifted with cuttings from Pope's weeping willow by his house along the Thames.  He planted these at his home in Stratford, Connecticut along the Housatonic River.  They grew well and he handed out cuttings as gifts to those who admired this graceful, foreign tree with its poetic associations.  It is believed all of the early weeping willows in America came from Alexander Pope's tree.  In the later 1700s there is record of some being brought as nursery stock from England, but the oldest belong to poets.

It made me think of how a friend once sent me an acorn from the old oak in Sherwood Forest and how I treasured that little piece of legend.  Wouldn't it be lovely to be able to plant an arboretum of trees associated just with poets and poetic ballads?
primsong: (mouse gape)
Asked a friend if she'd like some apples.  She said "Yes! I'd like 10 please.  If you have enough."
Look up at my Apples, current Apple Level 200 trees.
"Right. Ten apples."

apple plumes

primsong: (harvest)
Doing a bit of raking in the yard and discovered my apple trees are ALREADY dropping ripe apples... in July! My initial reaction was "noooooooooo!" I am so NOT ready to have to deal with apples again, we haven't even used up the ones in the freezer from last fall.

Oh well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em (or consume 'em).

Made three apple-blueberry pies with brandy this afternoon to kick off the early apple consumption for this year, plenty more where those came from.
primsong: (fivey sigh)
We had a tiny blip of the winds from a hurricane out at sea going by and the resulting few hours of sudden strong wind gusts were moderately dramatic. We were playing Scrabble and watching chunks of tree blowing by while a veritable barrage of pinecones rattled on the roof and bounced around on the deck. The end result in my yard is the appearance as if a troop of ambulatory Christmas trees wandered in and exploded.  

Sigh. Time to get the wheelbarrow out and play pick-up-sticks.
primsong: (medieval crowd)
Wah! - I had to miss Fic Rush. :-P Hope I can catch the next one - sounds like much fun was had by all.

The rain seems to be neverending here, though I suppose that IS par for the course for winter. Splorped out among the poplars in the deluge to clean up a large dead poplar branch that the wind brought down across the driveway - I wonder if my rather deep bootprints in the mud will still show up when it all dries up in the summer. Snowdrops are blooming! My crocuses are starting to show color! *bounces in anticipation of early flowers*

Also a parakeet victory - Been gradually moving the two birdcages closer together over the past month until they were snugged right up side-by-side and within a couple days the birds were spending all their time sitting right next to each other, trying to reach through the bars (awww) so yesterday was the Grand Reveal - I set them up with open doors so they could go from one cage to the other if they so desired.

By noon, I had all three of them happily sitting together in Sherbet's cage - and now Freckles and Millie won't go back to their old cage, they seem to have Officially Moved In with Sherbet. Maybe she just has better toys. ;-) So nice to have them all happy and only one cage to clean each day instead of two - Yay for non-lonely budgies!
primsong: (flower)
We have some poplars along our drive that belong to a neighbor whose lack of monetary resources means they are dead and have been for some time, sitting like that giant W from 'mad mad world'. Everytime I walk down the drive I hear them creaking even though they are embedded firmly in their companion trees and not likely to fall.

So - I am working my way down the drive spraying for weeds with my old friend the backpack sprayer when I hear creak creak creak cheep cheep creak cheep cheep cheep and look up to realize one of the old trunks has some neat woodpecker holes in it and there are both upstairs and downstairs woodpecker nests going!

I stood and watched as the mom and dad woodpeckers flew back and forth bringing food for their hungry broods, couldn't see the babies but sure could hear them, so adorable. There's something to be said for neat yards and taking down dead trees, etc. but there's certainly a place for a touch of natural nesting as well, just wonderful.
primsong: (illumination)
My neighbor is taking down all FOUR of the giant douglas firs that grace his property, now our little acre and part of the mobile home park behind us will be the only groves left of what was once a small forest of them. Old timers have told us of how they used to come hunt in 'those woods' in their youth, and of the filbert orchard and sheep pasturage that are now all subdivisions. They are all healthy 120ft. dougs, I feel as if the innocent are being executed, and for no reason other than as he's gotten older he wants more sunlight. :-(
primsong: (Default)
Last night one of my kids mentioned a 'tree leaning on the fence' - being in the process of doing three things at once as usual, I dismissed it as being a reference to one of our neighbors dead poplars, which has broken in the middle and is now leaning on its fellow tree being an excellent squirrel-bridge while it awaits a winter blow to bring it down to earth.

But when I went out on my deck to shake out some rugs this morning there was a strange black dog in my yard. "WOOF!" he uttered in a freaked-out "omg, it's a person!" way and ran - into my back yard! I followed, to shoo him out of my yard if nothing else, it's big but all fenced in.

And behold...

Once upon a time a madrone tree and a fir tree grew up together, twined and sharing as two loving siblings...until the fir grew to be the stronger of the two and stole away all of the water and sunlight and other plant-goodies that trees depend on. Eventually, the madrone gave up the proverbial ghost and has been hanging there, a brittle remembrance of things past, a suitable subject for angsty black-and-white photos but otherwise rarely thought of.

Until yesterday, upon which Time had its way and the base of the tree rotted through, dropping the entire lot into our neighbor's back yard. This did surprisingly little damage, but *did* knock off two boards from their fence...hence the dog.

We got out our moderate electric chainsaw and went to work, I plied the elderly lady in the house with banana-bread as a peace offering. More branches and logs to toss and haul on the morrow. The wood has long since lost its youthful veneer of striking oranges and reds, it is silver, grey and green with old mosses. Beautiful even in death.

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primsong

June 2017

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