Winter Beech Sunday, Feb 12 2017 


The Copper Beech’s structure is usually fairly obscure, but the snow was just right to make it stand out quite nicely here.

Acorns Monday, Nov 9 2015 

I managed a short jaunt in our own woods today. First time in awhile.

I was pleased to see that the ‘Big Three’ oaks (red, white, and black) all looked pretty good for their age. There are other oaks of course, but these three are old, open grown oaks along the wood track, beautiful trees full of character. Very few acorns under them though. I’d like to know who ate them. Either someone did, or they are the only ones in the state that didn’t Have acorns this year. The north lawn is like walking on marbles right now thanks to the two black oaks on it. It will be a bore to rake it next spring, I am sure.

What makes the lack of acorns more puzzling is the relative scarcity of deer sign in the area. I know we don’t have that many turkeys, a decent flock but not massive. Though, I did observe them cleaning up under another of our white oaks.  Or maybe it is the bear…though I didn’t see any sign of him, either.  Which is just fine.

Bit of a pity, since I was sort of hoping to get a few acorns and give a shot at sprouting them for planting. But, I don’t need another project anyway! Besides, where would I plant them at the moment?

Rain Thursday, Aug 27 2015 


Sunset Tuesday, Aug 4 2015 

005 (1024x768)

The big Cucumber Magnolia, looking up at sunset.

First Snow! Friday, Nov 14 2014 

About two fluffy, sticky inches likely to be gone by evening. Very pretty. (remind me of that in March…) Driving home from a meeting last night, just as it was turning from rain to snow, was gorgeous: cut crystals in the headlights.

What is distinctly odd about it though is that we actually have not had a killing frost yet. But I am glad that we spent time alternately mulching into the lawn and raking up leaves yesterday.  We are trying a new tactic on leaves this year. Instead of collecting them with the lawnmower, we are running the lawnmower with the leaf catcher attachment, but no bags, spreading the cut leaves far and wide as we go.*  There actually is a noticeable difference to the feel of the North Lawn* where we have done this: all those oak and magnolia leaves are back on the lawn in little pieces and it is definitely springier/softer, even in another year of nasty fall drought. The question is whether it will work with the denser ginkgo leaves, we shall see next spring.  It is much better than taking dozens of bags of leaves off the lawn each year.  Maybe it will even slow the appalling subsidence of the lawn!


*I am pondering whether the pipe could rotated a bit so it makes a better rooster tail and wider spread….

**The North Lawn is dominated by two full sized Black oaks, two Cucumber Magnolias (one at full size), a good sized Tulip tree, a mature ginkgo, and three young trees: elm, maple, and beech. There are A lot of leaves.

Cat in a room of rocking chairs Wednesday, Nov 12 2014 

Otherwise known as feeling twitchy. If I was an animal, it would be a highly territorial one.

Those of you with a passing knowledge of Connecticut may have heard of the long running arguments over trees vs roads. There is a sizable faction in the state DOT, backed by the ever whimsical voter, who yowls for clear cuts 100 feet back from Either side of the road. On the pretext that then the power will never go out and people will never die.  Or at least not die from the physics of tree plus car.  This conveniently ignores a number of things, not least the fact that the DOT only owns 25 feet to either side of the road.  In some places they have done a fifty foot cut, without any particular consultation.

They like cutting trees and they have been making money from cutting the trees.  Which is laudable, better than chipping them, and I completely understand the need for proper maintenance.  But it makes me twitchy. Those seventy-five feet contain some very nice, very large oak, pine, and spruce here.  And they do not belong to the state.

So the appearance of a bright orange ribbon and arrow? Twitchy. Nothing in the woods is marked, but it means something and I don’t know what. Except what I have seen in other areas.

Funny how there is no contact number for general inquiries, just the classic drop-down box form, without a category about trees.

Ginkgo Tuesday, Nov 4 2014 

Still! waiting on frost here, let alone cold enough temperatures to make the ginkgoes drop while green; so we get to enjoy the lovely pure gold (and the easier clean-up). The big* ginkgo is a tree we just don’t think of as ‘big’; it barely hits 60 feet, which when surrounded by 80-100 foot giants isn’t much. But it definitely is getting broader in the crown, particularly to the south and east. Again not easy to notice, because of its position on the northeast corner of the house. You only really see it from down in the meadow, when one notices how the big pines are now solidly hidden, aside from their tops of course!

*The little ginkgo is spreading like mad, but mysteriously lost its leader two years ago and shows no sign of regrowth, apparently it will be much, much wider than tall.

Here is a view looking up into the big ginkgo a few days ago, before it went solidly gold. The gold works in from the edges of the leaf, so the wonderful scallop pattern of the leaves is at its most prominent for just a week or so in the fall. It also works in from the top/sides of the tree, so the core is greener than the top.



Chipmunks Wednesday, Jun 11 2014 

Home sweet home! The redbud has some rather nice hollows in it, close access to the bird feeder and some spruce trees…what’s not to like? Look closely at the center of the first photo…. now if they would stay out of the vegetable garden!




A walk Friday, Jun 6 2014 

I have been badly remiss these last few weeks with this blog, other paying priorities in the way.

In any case, to make up for it, here is a short walk around what one might think of as the inner circle of the property:



















The Tree Shuffle Friday, Apr 4 2014 

Circle to the right, circle to the left, do-si-do, and two steps down.  Or something.  One beech tree moved (again), hopefully this will be its final home.  A young volunteer copper beech, we decided that it would simply be too dark on the northwest lawn.  So it got shuffled to the tennis courts, where it will probably act more like a forest tree than a specimen tree, which is fine.  Then a disappointing Amur maple, having been given a prime location on the north lawn for several years and signally failing to merit the spot got moved.  That took a bit more excavating.  It looks like it ought to work better as an edge tree against some nice dark green confirs.  Of course, I swung it exactly 180 degrees, so it will probably hate me for some time….

Most of the time, one can move trees that are as tall as a person.  But not all.  A prime example of the Do Not move class is my white oak tree, which everyone has laughed at; it is finally beginning to grow on the Northwest lawn. I hope it takes off this year as that is the third try in that location.  The first two were bought trees with poor roots, this one was a volunteer from down under one of the big white oaks in the woods. Its top has good buds this year, and its top is as tall (all of 18 inches) as its taproot was long when I excavated it three springs ago.  At the time, its top was all of four inches tall.   There is a reason white oaks aren’t moved often….

Next Page »

%d bloggers like this: