I have to wonder Thursday, Jan 19 2017 

and this motivated as much by non political rants I have heard lately as by the political….

If people spent as much time and money working on real, tangible things that can be improved and are important to them…as they do on complaining about how other people are keeping those important things from improving…

Who knows. My major accomplishment for the day was renewing the deer-off flags around our various ‘deer-candy’ plants during my lunch hour. If I can keep them off the plants, some of them promise a very lovely spring show. And noting that my little white oak bids to be taller than I next year. Also finding a spectacularly messy bird’s nest in one the shrubs, they had found some impressive strips of plastic to weave in from somewhere, along with an assortment of grass, twigs, horse hair, and other things. And watching a lovely Red Tail with really, really sharp markings in a big old Sugar Maple this morning. It is a good world, with good people, we would do well to remember that.

From the archives Wednesday, Jan 18 2017 

I promise, after this week, and the end of a job, you’ll hear more from me. For the meantime, here’s what today would have looked like if we had gotten snow instead of heavy rain:


But we did get rain, so it is solid fog out there instead. Weird

Down and up Monday, Jan 16 2017 

Something to be said for stubborn people who decide that what they ought to do with a day off is go to work…

We carefully dropped a truck at the bottom of the hill and went back to the top (1000 feet down to 530) in order to try and work out how an old jeep trail worked its way down the hillside. And to discover if the trail was something that could be rehabilitated for use. The trail down dropped us in the swamp and petered out. It did not come out where we knew the other end did. So we dutifully walked to the other, bottom end, where the lower truck was, waved to it as we passed….and hiked back up that trail which was all prickers for the first stretch, naturally. Coming out some distance north of the top truck. A beautiful old road up, but entirely invisible at the top end. So two roads for the price of one!

Not much wildlife, a little deer sign, about as much moose, one immature bald eagle, one annoyed raven. Some absolutely spectacular tulip poplars, including one that was right up at 40 inches dbi. All in all, a good day.

Four more months Sunday, Jan 15 2017 

I’d better get those trees pruned….that isn’t very many weeks!


Visiting places Saturday, Jan 14 2017 

Through the internet. A fun look at New York City. I have no particular desire to spend any amount of time in any city, but they are fascinating.


From the archives Thursday, Jan 12 2017 


I’m not really minding the fact that the driveway doesn’t look like this…I just hope that some of this rain can soak in….New England, always different weather!

Not winter Tuesday, Jan 10 2017 



Winter Visits Monday, Jan 9 2017 

We went to Old Sturbridge Village yesterday, a brutally cold Sunday when literally the only people there were people involved with the place. It was, nonetheless, easy to spend almost six hours there. But, perhaps, on reflection it would be better to simply say: this was my day. Why should we reflexively try to account for every minute?*

I think we’ve lost something along the way, maybe simply how to judge the use of our time. We watched, for a fair bit of time, the process of butchering a hog. Cutting down that half was clearly going to be that day’s work, the entire process was going to take up the better part of a week. But perhaps, that should not be how it is measured. The person spinning wool had a good take on it. People didn’t quantify their work by ‘x hours on project y’ but rather ‘today I did my day’s spinning, or I spun x yards’ . There is an interesting, profound, difference there. I’m not sure, quite, what to make of it, except that it is worth thinking about.

*I’m Not advocating staring vacantly at the wall, but more that time spent is maybe not the best way to measure certain things..



Snow Saturday, Jan 7 2017 

A nice little snowstorm, very pretty.

Also mission accomplished: one four inch, forty foot, very dead, and something of a widowmaker to put it mildly, ash tree removed from its position next to the driveway. The tiny, very nice Japanese Maple next to it, undamaged (I did not tell the person taking it down about said maple until after, it was either going to survive or it wasn’t), the azaleas, rhododendrons, laurels, shadblow, and stewartia also all undamaged.  The latter two were in the path that it wanted to fall in, so it had to go the way it didn’t want to go…

Causing it to fall ninety degrees away and down the driveway required a long rope, a pulley, a strap, the use of a large pine tree, and a large truck.  One pulls, you see, if possible on the far side of the tree and not along the fall path.  The rope runs from the tree, to the pulley (which is attached to the strap around the pine tree), back past the tree being cut, to the truck.  That way nothing is in the danger zone.  Having carefully cut the tree so it wants to go in the direction you want it to, you start pulling. And Thud. Well, multiple thuds. Dead trees tend to come down in unpredictable bits, some of which can land quite a bit farther away than you think they will.  Hence pulling from the far side of the thing. And also why you pull it over rather than simply cut it.  Especially when it is already broken and its top is hanging.

This is a straightforward operation, but definitely an expert one.

It does look much nicer with it out of there!

Roots Friday, Jan 6 2017 

Continuing my tree stump collection, they are just as interesting as complete trees.  This one is usually submerged (first time out of the water since the 1960’s) and still had some of the bark in the hollows. An old sugar maple, the bark looked more like fish skin than anything else. The root system is one sided because it was growing on the side of the road (in the water), so the roots curved back and away from the compaction. This was exacerbated by growing on a bank, so the roots also curved to lock more securely into the soil. The roots heading into the road are also shorter and thinner than those away from the road.


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