Tag Archives: trees

Covid changes everything.

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The husband’s brother and nephew stopped by yesterday to check out the man cave. (They hadn’t been in the barn in years and were suitably impressed.) Of course we heard them coming from half a mile away because they drove in with the nephew’s new toy.

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His favorite past time is buying and restoring old cars and this one is looking pretty good so far.

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Although I can’t say the same for the nephew. Pre Covid pandemic? He looked like this…

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Now?

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He’s sporting a Grizzly Adams type beard. But he brought us a jar of homemade maple syrup….

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So I guess I can overlook a little ( lot! ) of facial hair.

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He and his family do it the old fashioned way, tapping 32 trees with metal buckets.

He even built an honest to God sap house.

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Where he boils. And boils. And boils…

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In case you’re wondering, it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. No wonder it’s so bloody expensive. ( Good stuff can go for $100 a gallon )

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That was not at all helpful.

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Remember the tree house our neighbors built?

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The one right at the edge of their property line… even though they own 20 acres down to the water?

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The one I was glad was nestled behind a few trees with leafy camouflage?

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Well, there’s my husband cutting down each and every single branch that provided relief from prying little eyes.

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Not at all helpful.

Not one damn bit.

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The best one yet!

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So I walked in on my husband the other day, and this was what he was watching….

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I knew it was going to be good.

Or bad.

Or so bad, it’s good.

I wasn’t disappointed.

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A walking tree stump reincarnation?

I was in!

Having missed the first third of the movie I can’t give you the background story, but I knew something was going to go wrong when the visiting doctors dug up a tree with a face and a knife in it’s… chest?

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Back at the lab, the lady doctor/heroine whipped out her stethoscope to check its vitals.

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The diagnosis? None. They were stumped… (pun intended) and left the room to confer with colleagues.

Bad idea.

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Very bad.

The rampaging evil spirit tree, which we learned is named Tobanga, ran amok and captured a South Sea native girl.

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And hurled her in the quicksand.

She begged for her life…

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But Tobanga was merciless.

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Bye bye scantily clad native girl.

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Her death stirred up the villagers and they vowed to track the malevolent creature.

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But you know that didn’t go as planned.

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This fellow was tossed into a ravine and impaled….

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Which pissed off the guy in the stunning headband to no end.

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He gathered more natives to dig a pit… and used himself as bait to lure the creature.

Edge of your seat drama. Yessiree.

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Success! We shall stab the beast with our spears..

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Light him on fire and make charcoal briquettes!

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But alas, that didn’t turn out well either.

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Headband guy was doomed.

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And chucked off the side of a mountain.

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And as you know it had to..

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Tobanga then captured our heroine.

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Her fellow doctors armed themselves and were in hot pursuit, willing to lay down their lives for the fair haired damsel in distress.

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(Except for the guy on the right who knows that bitch Karen deserved it for digging up the cursed thing in the first place.)

Bam!

Our hero saved the day with an expertly placed shot to Tobanga’s … heart?

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And into the quicksand he went….

Bye bye Stumpy.

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The natives were so grateful they asked our hero if he would be their village witch doctor.

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And though flattered, he refused… and moved back to Burbank with Karen.

Yeah, you know he’s going to regret that.

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All present and accounted for.

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It’s turkey season.

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And that doesn’t bode well for our fine feathered visitors.

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Momma brought her seven babies for their first nosh under the bird feeders a few months ago…

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And they’re all still with her.

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You go momma.

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They’re comical birds to watch.

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Like big brown chickens who gobble instead of cluck.

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Though her babies are almost full grown, momma is still vigilant…

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And takes off at the slightest perceived threat.

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Picture of pretty backyard trees included… just because I can.

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Because I can only say it here…

 

(And not to my husband, though I want to. I really want to!)

Planting apple trees in excessive summer heat, during a drought?

Not a good idea.

 

 

A week afterwards?

 

 

Most of them look like this…. and I simply have to say it before I burst.

I told you so!

 

 

It’s been crazy hot and dry. Our lawn is turning brown and crunching underfoot.

Not exactly prime transplanting conditions.

 

 

But he wouldn’t listen… so now we have 9 almost dead twigs.

 

 

And before you say it, I have watered them.

I purchased three 100′ foot expandable hoses strictly for that purpose.

I added them to my original 100′ foot hose and have repeatedly hauled the four 100′ foot hoses out to the far corners of our property watering the damned things.

 

 

One tree.

One in ten is all that looks healthy.

I told him!

But he wouldn’t listen.

 

 

Indeed.

Just call him Johnny Appleseed.

 

Hope springs eternal, at least for my husband when it comes to trees.

 

 

The three oaks he transplanted a while ago croaked and had to be dug up.

 

 

So when we were in the middle of a drought and a heat wave?

 

 

He figured that would be a great time for us to plant 10 apple trees.

 

 

Holes were dug in ground that felt like cement.

 

 

And I had to run the bucket brigade again.

 

 

Because naturally he wanted to plant them at the far ends of our property.

 

 

But I did find some wild raspberries.

 

 

And blackberries.

 

 

 

It took us all damned day.

 

 

But trees were planted.

 

 

 

The heat was intense and I told him this was the wrong time of year to plant.

 

 

 

But you know how that went.

 

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Will he water and fertilize and care for these new transplants in this mid summer heat wave?

Hell no.

Say goodbye trees, you’re doomed.

 

 

 

It started out innocently enough…..

 

This week’s harvest from our neighbor’s CSA yielded  scallions, cabbage, beets, Swiss chard, basil, parsley, garlic scapes, a tomato, a zucchini and raspberries.

 

 

Needless to say the raspberries were demolished with ice cream the first night and since we craved more, we headed across the road to their farm stand.

 

 

I can’t say I’ve ever seen a tractor trailer box renovated into a turquoise and gold farm stand…

 

 

But hey, it works.

 

 

Fairy tale eggplant?

There are so many off color jokes I could make right now my brain is threatening to explode.

And in case you’re wondering how the veggies don’t bake in the heat?

 

 

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Just as we were about to leave, our neighbor’s daughters showed us all of her father’s left over apple trees. He’d planted as many as he could for his new orchard and didn’t want the rest.

 

 

You know where this is going…. right?

Free trees?

 

 

Yeah.

 

 

It’s been 100 degrees in the shade, the ground is solid concrete because we haven’t had any rain for weeks… and my husband wants to plant more trees.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

He shouldn’t be happy, but he was.

 

He shouldn’t be happy we had high winds that brought down part of our choke cherry tree two nights ago.

 

 

He shouldn’t be happy.

 

 

But you know he was.

 

 

Because as soon as the sun came up?

 

 

He was out there.

 

 

Trimming weight.

 

 

Anxious for the fun to begin.

 

 

Ready!

 

 

 

You know he’s been itching to cut something down.

 

 

So he was one happy camper.

 

 

It had to be done, but when he started eyeing the rest of the tree?

I threw myself in front of it to save the poor thing from total annihilation.

 

 

Why do they never listen?

 

Yes men, I’m talking about you.

Remember the tree planting miracle I posted about a while ago? When the husband dug up and transplanted 3 maple trees to the far corners of our backyard?

 

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Yes, the ones I had to water everyday because we were entering drought conditions.

Well, that stopped when I broke my toe and I told the other half he’d have to take over the job if he wanted his trees to survive.

Water every day I told him.

Which is what I did, religiously, with his little patch of grass seed next to the baby barn.

Under my watchful eye the seed sprouted…

 

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And is now green…

 

 

Thick and lush.

The trees?

That the husband didn’t bother to water because of course I don’t know what I’m talking about…..

 

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Not so much.

 

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After brown?

 

 

Came bare twig.

 

 

If only he’d listened to his wife…