….a surprise in my Tree Garden

My gardening is about as haphazard as my housekeeping.   Plants and trees just sort of fend for themselves, and left to their own devices they never cease to amaze me.    Years ago, when I first built this house, planted assorted trees and other plants….not counting the volunteers in my notorious “tree garden.”      One of the prettiest of my flowering varieties, with marvelous pink flowers, kept pace with another ornamental tree nearby…until we had an especially cold winter about five years ago which froze out and killed quite a lot of specimen in this area.   Although it has been apparent that this tree was indeed defunct, what with its growth covering of lichen.   The branches literally disintegrated to the point where many were removed by the wind itself.

Ever the optimist, last year I determined that among the miscellaneous plant life growing in the vicinity, several shoots were thought to be trees, but their species was quite unknown to me, and could be one of numerous trees in the near neighborhood.      So I let the people that wield weed-wappers and chainsaws, and such, in the area…that these weed-appearing growths are to be left alone.    The tree itself kept developing lichen, and chunks of it kept falling off…I could push the whole thing over if so inclined.

This morning my daughter (who lives next door) and I went for a walk around the place and I pointed out the tree, and its new growth.   The bark of the tree has reminded me of cherry tree bark, and the shoots were developing thickness enough to see that the bark was the same.   As my eye traveled up the tree…there were three pink flowers…which I recognized as being related to the tree in question, and a closer look found two more blossoms further down the branches.

I of course ran in the house to grab my camera.   My first shots were badly over exposed, with the sun high up behind the blossoms, so that the sky was bright and drowned out the delicate pink color.   Each blossom is about an inch in diameter.

 

 

 

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New Growth in front, next to the original tree.  

 

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Tree covered with lichen and moss.  New growth behind.

 

 

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A long shot toward the North, the barn and Tree Garden on the left rear,  the subject tree with the blossoms hanging from a new growth branch…the original tree to the right.
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Welcome blossoms!   

 

 

[Why Nuts?] A look into the unique creative art of blogger I-Shan Lin…

Here is a delightful and different blog by I-Shan LIn. Her drawings and writing are fresh and creative. Thanks for the permission to re-blog.

“I’ve got all I need. Me, a paper boat and lots of nuts. So there’s nothing to be afraid of.” 

View original post 546 more words

pack a lunch and let’s go!

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2017/04/14/world-s-most-dangerous-path-is-reopening-to-hikers.html

NO Folks…..I did not get this from watching FOXNEWS!!!!   Yahoo.   Anyway….it is a real mind-boggler, especially for someone like me who freaks out at an atrium in a Mall.   I just don’t do heights…even a ladder will weaken the knees.

The Google-Street-Map is spectacular, 3-D view of the gorge and the walkway.       I see there’s a Restaurant-Bar located along the trail.

Oh, and helmets are required of all participants because of the 300-foot drop.

Anybody want to go?

Voyager 2’s Golden Record… intercepted? or still out there?

For no apparent reason this morning I thought about the space capsule that went zooming out beyond our Solar System on June 16, 1977.      I have known about the “Golden Record” containing various information about Earth that space aliens might be interested in, assuming that they someday “find” the capsule floating around out there and delve into our characteristics.      The NASA Space Agency facility in Cleveland, Ohio used to be open to the public, and I visited a couple of times on field trips with Girl Scouts or school class groups.     I was especially impressed with two features…although there was an endless wealth of exhibits: our Sun, in an animated flaming ball complete with sun flares and other details; and the Golden Record on Voyager 2.

The thing that impressed me the most was that the United States’ choice of popular music at the time was Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode, also famous as featured at the “Under the Sea” high school dance, in the movie Back to the Future.      Not sure I ever knew much more detail, except that the compilers had included some Bach and Beethoven, chosen by some of the more grown up nations.

Included here is the Wikipedia link for those of us who would like either a refresher course in Voyager 2, or a deeper look into the contents of the Golden Record….which is, I believe, literally a well, golden…record.      There are all kinds of information about various countries of Earth, animals, humans (although NASA apparently got some flack about naked human pictures, so they used silhouettes.)    I love that there is a recording of authentic Navajo Chants, and an hour-long recording of someone’s brain waves thinking about “earth-things” including thoughts of love.  Also, the sounds of thunder and rain, birds, animals, and motor vehicles…uh, wind and thunder maybe, but a John Deere tractor?   (They didn’t specify the brand, that’s just me.)   Other humanoid species probably would identify with Earth nature sounds…but a rumbling bulldozer or whatever is a bit of a stretch.

This Wikipedia site is really good…pictures and easy-to-follow charts and symbols.    Here’s the link:     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contents_of_the_Voyager_Golden_Record

 

 

breathing in…and out

[Here is a poem that I think my readers will like.   Very appropriate to Spring, I think.]

breathing in,
oxygen I consume
which loving plants exude
breathing out,
carbon dioxide sent
for loving plants to use

and so we dance
to the delight
of the sun giving life
from all of its radiant rays
we give and we take
each and every day

the purpose of our existence
is reliance and assistance
to and from all that is around us
in this beauty that surrounds us
we are not alone
but all one
parts of the total sum

and if we wish to remain
from our harmful actions we must refrain
contemplate and reflect
all of the effects
and their cause
not one immune to natural law

so please take heed
using only what u need
leaving very little waste
mindful of every step you take
and the foot prints left in their wake

 

©Max’sMaxims, (Sometimes, 2017)

Tree Garden Time, illustrated…

When I built my house in the middle of the cabbage patch about sixteen years ago (with my little hammer and nails)  I decided to preserve a patch of former farm land to create a garden area.   Envisioning trails and paths through tall stately trees, flowering shrubs and perennials, I set out to physically dig out certain areas to accommodate raised beds of Boxwood and Myrtle, Winterberry and Rhododendron.

The size of the Tree Garden is approximately 80 feet by maybe 40 feet.  The patch was really an area behind my house and in front of the barn, where my late husband and his family had farmed for half a century before my time.   The land had been part of about 12 acres on which all kinds of crops: cabbage, corn, tomatoes, cauliflower, apples, rhubarb, onions, garlic…and various other foods like herbs and lettuce.

The land was split up, with four acres or more going to the state of Ohio for a highway, selling of 13 acres to neighbors in the land-locked parcel on the other side, leaving 8 1/2 acres including our original house.   When my husband died in 2000, my daughter and son-in-law bought much of the remainder … and I built a new house to the East.   There is still about two acres in a vacant lot, and about an acre and a half where my house is.

So…to get back to the Tree Garden parcel.   The piece was pretty much over-growing with saplings and assorted volunteer plants and shrubs.   Over the years it was shaped through arbitrary pruning and removal of young trees to form sections which would be cleared and shaped into paths.     I intend to include some photos with this post that more or less illustrate what I am trying to do.

For years only the youngest grandkids understood what I was trying to do back there.   But as it took shape eventually my vision was better understood.

Now the basic shaping is pretty much workable, as the Maple, Oak, and various trees I am not sure of, became so tall and so big that they needed to be Pruned with a chain-saw.  The paths have become clear and discernible, and garden aspects are clearer.

The tall Pampas Grass I planted back there took over, but has now died back, or rather probably the deer trampled it during winter.   Originally when I set up the garden I planted some big shrubs like Hawthorne and Black Pussy Willow which flourished then died off probably because of too much shade as the trees grew.

This year (again) I plan (hope) to build an arch from maple-tree-culls cut from the paths.    Also I’d like to plant some more perennials, shade ones this time, and paint some signs and plaques and stuff, paint the old bird cage hanging from a tree, resurrect the huge plaster Sun with its ray tips broken off.     Hang up some of the wonderful treasures from garage sale junk boxes acquired.   Use up some of the numerous plastic/silk flowers in the basement, line the paths with rocks (ha! that ain’t going to happen), and create a couple of seating places back there….which will involve mosquito control.

Big plans….more than likely I’ll spend more time on the blog talking about what I’d like to do.   🙂

Here are some photos taken in the last year or two, with examples of the assortment of critters that live in the Tree Garden and nearby, and some of the “decorations” natural and ornamental.    I had to look closely to see the one cat in these photos, a white cat named “coon tail” because he has a striped tail.   Peggy is one of my most photogenic outdoor cats, odd she isn’t in any of these pics, but I was choosing from thumbnails so some of the details didn’t show up.

The amazing escape of Inky the Octopus

Here is the link to a wonderful story from the WashingtonPost,  about an Octopus who made a miraculous and complicated escape from the aquarium in which he was being held in New Zealand.   The headline reads: “Octopus slips out of aquarium tank, crawls across the floor, escapes down pipe to ocean.”      This story may rival Rocky…either that or I need to get out more.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/04/13/octopus-slips-out-of-aquarium-tank-crawls-across-floor-escapes-down-pipe-to-ocean/?tid=hybrid_experimentrandom_1_na&utm_term=.b0151585bafb

 

 

 

 

Tile Art

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Here are some pictures that just tugged at me to create while walking through my entry.  They are twelve-inch natural stone tiles.   I never noticed the (featured photo) before, but once the face popped out at me…at least three faces in fact…I knew they were perfect for Cee’s Odd Ball Photo challenge.     The eye just seems to adjust for the scene.

These shots remind me of mountain and desert terrain, the color scheme of the Southwest.      What wonders do YOU see here, boys and girls?   I’d love to hear….

(all photos © Sometimes, 2017)

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Promise in a Poem (Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge entry)

 

I am unique among my peers
having arisen from the Winter
more or less intact… if a bit bedraggled.
One might say the word—disarray?
to describe broken remnants
and staring, bleary rimless eyes
askew and discolored
arrangement of my limbs and leaves,
disheveled scraps of nascent green
tones, silky serrated edges of hemline.
Better days have been….and will be again
and my modest Winter garments
will have fallen to the ground.
Please don’t judge me—for who among us
can preserve the beauty and newness of Summer
beyond the ravages of rain and snow
and Cold from the relentless winds?
You are invited to return in half a year hence,
and feast upon my resurrected beauty
as new green foliage  and velvety petals
of red and white roses prevail.

© Sometimes, 2017

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: January 22, 2017

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dreaming daisies

 

when the snow
covers the meadow
in silence
so profound
dreams of daisies linger long
after petal fall

© Sometimes, 2017

The Shadorma is one of my favorite poetic forms.  It consists of six lines…                  of 3, 5, 3, 3, 7, and 5 syllables…respectively.