Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘landscape

Autumn Mowing

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I don’t have any recollection of the lawn ever being so “June-like” this late in October. It felt totally strange yesterday to be cutting such long, thick, green grass with the air chilly and the sun at this uncharacteristic low angle.

In addition to the summery grass blades, the standing puddles of water left over from the recent rains were downright spring-like.

When I got done, the fresh-mowed lawn contrasted strangely against the golden hue of fall that the trees now provide for a backdrop.

It also seemed odd to be mowing the grass a few days after we had just received snow.

On my walk back to the house after I was done with chores for the evening, I stopped to take some pictures of the low sun beaming through the golden trees.

That carpet of leaves is a favorite of mine. I wish we could have layers of leaves that look like that as a ground cover, in place of lawn grass around our land.

Guess that means we would need to get busy transplanting more trees.

Spread the wealth!

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Written by johnwhays

October 18, 2018 at 6:00 am

Hearty Impression

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What might the message be from this tree with an old wound that it is growing around in the shape of a heart?

I don’t know, but I’d like to think it is something heartwarming.

When we were cleaning out the landscaping around the back side of the house over the weekend, I discovered that a tie holding a maple sapling to a support stake was too tight and had begun constricting the tree’s growth. What a sorry sight to stumble upon; an occasion where my efforts to help a tree had ended up hurting it.

Trees seem to grow slowly, in general, but at the same time, there is a dramatic amount of activity happening in relatively short time spans. I think the trunk of that sapling has doubled in size since it was tied. I would have liked to see a time-lapse of that progress.

Just a week ago we were digging out from beneath a huge snow storm, and yesterday, on my drive home from work, I could already see the tops of tree clusters developing a green tinge from sprouting new buds. It warms my heart to know the leaves will soon be making an appearance.

Ever wonder how many leaves grow on the branches of mature trees? There are a lot of variables, but an oft-repeated average seen in the results of a Google search is around 200,000. That number makes my heart flutter like the quaking leaves of our poplar trees.

At the extension class we took last month to learn tricks of identifying trees, (did I already write about this?) we found out the thing that makes some leaves oscillate in the wind is the square shape of the leaf stem. It isn’t round, it has four flat sides.

Fun facts for people who love trees. Hopefully, that includes everyone. How could anyone with a heart, not love a tree?

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Written by johnwhays

April 24, 2018 at 6:00 am

Flowing Water

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Our drainage swales are finally flowing!

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The largest ditch along our southern border was a babbling brook yesterday.

Eventually, the ditch narrows and meanders away from our property, wandering its way through our neighbor’s cow pasture.

The snow is leaving, and it will travel to rivers that travel to the Mississippi that flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

B’ bye.

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Written by johnwhays

March 29, 2018 at 6:00 am

Tattered

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

November 3, 2017 at 6:00 am

Snow Arrived

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As expected, snow showers blew in yesterday. Windy, wet, sticky snow battered the ranch for most of the day. For the most part, we were prepared. The rain gauge wasn’t doing us much good anymore, so I brought that in, after the fact. There are plenty of leaves on the grass that I would have preferred to have removed in advance, but that’s a trivial concern.

It was certainly beautiful to look at. Conditions varied from blowing tiny flaked drizzle to snow-globe gorgeous throughout the afternoon.

After Cyndie let the horses out of the barn, they stayed hunkered down under the overhang, except for individual brief sorties down to the waterer and back. When I was mucking out their stalls in the middle of the day, I would take breaks and lean on the half-door to watch them. I caught Legacy standing in a spot where his head was out from beneath the protection of the overhang. It looked like he was trying to wash his head and mane.

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Before heading back into the house, I walked the driveway and took a bunch of pictures as the flakes flew. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that one of the wet globs stuck to the camera lens, creating a blur in the middle of most of the shots.

The snow added a nice accent to our Halloween decoration near the front door of the house. Some people put up fake spider webs to make things look spooky. We have the real thing.

 

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Written by johnwhays

October 28, 2017 at 8:40 am

Looking, Listening

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The morning light coming over the eastern horizon bathes our property with such picturesque hues. Yesterday, Cyndie captured how the smooth, freshly mowed hay-field looked as she and Delilah made their way around to open the chicken coop and tend to the horses.

Was it a coincidence that while I was processing this image, John Hartford’s “Gentle On My Mind” was playing and took over my brain with its lyrics?

“…in back roads by the rivers of my memory
Keeps you ever gentle on my mind.”

Maybe. Maybe not.

That’s the kind of song I wish I had written.

I’m probably in this mindset after reading Rickie Lee Jones’ tribute to Walter Becker on RollingStone.com. Just put me deeper in songwriting envy, revisiting the Steely Dan catalog and some of Rickie Lee’s best.

“done up in blue print blue. It sure looks good on you…”

She writes, in answer to her query about the “blue” meaning, that Walter told her he didn’t know; just felt like writing it.

I understand exactly.

Rickie Lee’s big breakout self-titled debut album was released when I was working full-time in a record store. Her phrasing and lyrical story telling captured me immediately.

“you never know when you’re makin’ a memory…”

My memories are flowing over the rolling hill of the hay-field toward the rising sun that is sculpting the popcorn clouds hanging low under the high blue sky. I am thinking of lives and loves who have come and gone with whispers and kisses, dipping toes in unknown oceans of improbable possibilities that did or didn’t actually play out, but undoubtedly shaped everything that has happened since.

Luckily, love grows, unbounded by physical limitations, and it continues to pave the rivers of my memories.

Ever gentle on my mind, indeed.

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Lake Art

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On a partly sunny day, between rain showers that rolled over us at regular intervals, I wandered down to the dock to soak up some sun. I thought maybe I could collect enough rays to lightly toast the inside of my arm to dry out what is now a pretty fierce poison ivy rash.

I don’t think it did anything for the rash, but I pulled out my camera and played around with the speckled pattern of puffy white clouds reflected on the surface of the water.

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For landlubbers, I’ll garnish these with an image from the forest to bring us back to solid ground…

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Written by johnwhays

May 29, 2017 at 8:02 am