Tag Archives: trees

De-Christmasing.

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Since I hadn’t heavily decorated the inside of our house for the holidays in a few years… I’d forgotten what a time sucking nightmare it was to put everything away.

Three days after I started…

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With help from Lord Dudley Mountcatten…. I was done.

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And after buying a fresh cut ( I use that term loosely) tree from a roadside stand instead of cutting our own as we usually do, I’m seriously cursing needle drop again.

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While I do love a real Christmas tree…

( Note the lack of snow and abundance of green grass in our yard. In Maine. In January! 😠 )

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I do not love clogging up my vacuum with 20lbs of dry needle droppings. Though I have to admit, it does smell wonderful.

How about you?

Are you de-Christmased yet?

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It’s hog time.

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I woke up yesterday morning to fog in our neighbor’s field….

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And the distinct sound of rumbling…. which at this time of year could only mean one thing.

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Fall in the country means bush hogging and as the sun started to break through, the hog was hard at work.

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Our neighbor hires a local man every autumn to knock down the growth in her fields. This is necessary if you want to keep fields from becoming forests and since he’s right next door…. we piggyback on the opportunity and have him do our little parcel of back field as well.

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And as I looked out on our backyard pre hogging, I was pleased to see the maple trees we planted this spring had survived the awful summer drought and were beginning to turn color like their larger neighbors.

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It was touch and go for a while. Maine was hot and dry for months and we’re on a well. I had to stop dragging my 300 feet of hose out there to water them and I feared our nearly $1,000 investment would shrivel up and die. But they seem to have hung on and for that I’m grateful.

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Later on in the day it was our turn.

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And those trees sure do make a dramatic background for hogging.

🙂

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I’m beginning to think she didn’t really want a tree…

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Eight years ago the flowering pear tree we’d planted by the bird feeders when we moved to this house died. My late mother, who loved nothing more than sitting on the deck watching our fine feathered friends, told me we needed to replace that tree because the birds missed it. Sadly, she passed two months later… and because she wanted me to make the decision what to do with her ashes, I laid part of her to rest with a beautiful tulip tree in that very spot.

Unfortunately the tree wasn’t hardy enough for the rugged Maine winters and croaked two years later. As did the flowering dogwood we planted after that and the Rose of Sharon after that. Two years ago when our neighbor gave us a few river birches to plant in front of the man cave/barn, we transplanted a flowering plum to my mother’s spot. It did well, for two years.

But now….

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There it goes.

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Undeterred and very determined to give my mother the tree she wanted… we went to an extremely expensive nursery where I paid an astronomical sum for a flowering crabapple.

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It was a beautiful specimen. Tall and bursting with good health.

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So in it went, with my mother.

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My fingers and toes are crossed this one makes it more than two years.

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Because if this one dies, I’m really going to wonder if my mother is trying to tell me something.

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Who needs a gym when you have a garden?

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The forest of trees my husband recently planted need to be watered and I’ll give you one guess who has to do that….

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Twice a week I man handle 300 foot of hose down to the back forty to give them a drink.

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And once that sucker fills up with water? It is HEAVY.

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But I’ll do it, despite my bad knee and pinched neck nerve because I refuse to let $700 worth of trees die. The husband loves to plant them, but never offers any follow up care.

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After that I was down on my hands and achy knee to plant. It hurts, but is so rewarding.

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Sadly, the mice are at it again. They live under the floor of the baby barn/shed and damned if they don’t chew the blooms off my marigolds and drag them through a hole.

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I plugged it with some stones, hopefully that will stop the raiding.

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Random skies and sammies.

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Woke up this morning to an odd light in our front yard.

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The sun was shining through little peaks in the clouds and it was positively eerie.

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This being Sunday, it was my day to cook for the weekly man cave pool tournament… but this time, I took your advice.

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Fresh ham salad and chicken salad sandwiches on flaky croissants.

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With fruit plate accompaniment. Pretty… and so much less time consuming.

👍

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Have shovel, still traveling.

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More trees were replaced/planted yesterday…. this time as far away from the house as is possible.

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And after all the rain we’ve had, I don’t think watering them will be necessary for a while.

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There’s a reason none of the trees my husband plants in our far back yard live and it’s called clay. While there’s nice topsoil near the house, our property slopes down to the woods and eventually to the banks of a river…. and around here that means clay. Saturated with water in the spring, cracked bone dry in the summer… but that doesn’t deter my husband. No sir.

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Two of these beauties were purchased and planted.

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Marrying an eternal optimist makes for a lot of work.

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Whether theses trees will last any longer than the previous elms, oaks or apples he planted is any one’s guess.

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Have shovel, will travel.

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Hard as it is to believe after the apple tree planting fiasco of 2021, my husband was back at it the other day … ripping up the dead apple twigs and filling the holes with bigger and better new trees.

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He came home with a beautiful flowering cherry I would have loved for the back lawn where I could see it every day….

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So naturally he planted it on the far side of the barn where it’s completely blocked by the building and out of line of sight from our house.

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It will however be prime viewing when playing pool in the man cave.

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It’s a pretty tree and was an immediate bee magnet. In no time flat they were circling and we were stepping away.

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I might just have to buy another for my viewing pleasure.

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I’m festive damn it.

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I used to go all out for the holidays. If it stood still? I decorated it… for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentines Day etc.

My husband used to roll his eyes, but our neighbors loved it. Matter of fact… I never realized how much our neighbors loved it until recently.

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As I’ve said previously, this year’s decorations have been scaled down. Wreaths on windows and doors and a festive sled.

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A kissing ball.

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Candles in the windows and a ( still standing! ) lighted animated reindeer.

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The Barn Mahal has Santa in a plant pot…

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Snowflakes in the windows and twinkling trees on the porch.

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(The trees are multicolored, the snowflakes are white. But my phone apparently has a sense of humor and changes color at will. WTH?)

But even with all that I’ve done, my neighbors have repeatedly waxed nostalgic over the good old days “when you used to decorate”.

Like this year’s display is chopped liver!

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I mean, really.

There’s a feline Lord backlit by candlelight. What more do they need?

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Even trees need a haircut.

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Fall is tree pruning time and since our two mature apples and one small crabapple were in desperate need, we hired a professional arborist.

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That’s him tackling the out of control crabapple.

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And that’s him strapped onto a branch thinning out our (probably 45 year old) Macintosh.

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There were branches everywhere by the end of the day.

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Which made me glad clean up was included in the price.

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Crabapple before, with a 2×4 holding up a broken section.

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Crabapple after. It looks positively naked, but he assured us it would fill back in nicely next spring.

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Mature apples before.

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Mature apple trees after. The lighting is bad, but trust me… they were thinned out considerably and are probably breathing a sigh of relief as we speak.

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The arborist was here for 5 hours and did a wonderful job trimming and cleaning up. He even raked the lawn.

(The pear tree was also pruned, but I forgot to snap pics.)

Cost?

$400…. which I think was very reasonable.

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