Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘leaves

Worst Combination

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I’ve been dreading this possibility for months. The worst combination of plowable amounts of snow falling before the ground is thoroughly frozen played out yesterday right before our eyes. The unfinished shoulders of our new driveway are too soft to support driving on them, let alone scraping them with a plow blade.

Since we didn’t receive a huge amount of snow by the end of the day yesterday, I’m contemplating just pushing what snow there is to the edge of the asphalt to create small snow banks over the existing shoulder. Before the banks freeze too hard, I might try flattening them enough to create a base layer over which I could drive and plow after future snowfalls.

In the beginning moments of accumulation yesterday morning, I headed outside to clean leaves off the pavement in front of the shop. It’s a job I intended to do a week ago but a certain person’s emergency and follow-up surgery have disrupted a lot of the before-snow plans we had hoped to fulfill.

Nothing like raking leaves that are already getting covered by snow. By the end of the day, the area in the picture became a parking spot for my car. I moved my car out of the garage so I could put Marie’s car under a roof. If the snow lets up today or tomorrow, it will save me from needing to scrape windows if she decides to brave the winter driving back to her place in Minnesota.

With the two of us watching over Cyndie, the metal-jointed woman has been making pretty good progress managing her pain and healing her incisions. With Marie running the kitchen, I have been freed up to take the dog outside and to keep the horses well-fed.

And now, I’m adding the role of chief snow shoveler to my other primary duties.

🎶 It’s beginning to feel a lot like… winter.

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Written by johnwhays

November 15, 2022 at 7:00 am

Pretty Peak

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We are witnessing pretty close to peak colors around here now. It’s hard to tell if the next day will become even more brilliant or if leaves will have abruptly dropped to the ground en masse.

There are a few straggling trees still holding green leaves but the ones that blaze the best colors are maxing out. We are doing our best to soak up the scenery with full in-the-moment appreciation, never knowing when the polychromatic party might end. The critical ingredient for maximum spectacle is direct sunlight, so the degree of cloudy skies in the next few days will play a significant part in prolonging the autumnal glory we have been blessed with this year.

Complicating the situation is the extreme degree of parched soil we have been dealt, so we are also longing for an extended soaking rain. I guess one way to look at it is that either way, we win.

If it gets rainy, we will rejoice over the moisture. If it stays sunny, we continue to enjoy the wonderful fall colors.

(For the purposes of this positive-thinking exercise, I will be ignoring the possibility of the skies clouding over without ever providing a measurable amount of rain.)

As of yesterday afternoon, we were peaking out and loving it!

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Written by johnwhays

October 7, 2022 at 6:00 am

Winter Leaves

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Written by johnwhays

February 13, 2022 at 7:00 am

Compare Contrasts

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I have mixed feelings about the comparison of our woods to our neighbor’s when it comes to the obviousness of difference in controlling the invasive Common Buckthorn. Do you notice the contrast in the images below?

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That line of green leaves on the low trees visible in the images on the right is increasingly dominating the understory beyond our fencelines.

It is pleasing to be able to clearly see the progress I have achieved in my vigilance to remove the buckthorn every year. At the same time, it is unsettling to watch the progress of the invasion playing out on the land surrounding ours.

Meanwhile, remember how happy I was to boast of stocking up on woodchips?

Cyndie has already succeeded in decimating the store of chips, distributing them far and wide for mulch around small trees and plants in the labyrinth and beyond.

We are on the brink of no longer being able to see most of the downed branches available for chipping with the arrival of snow season.

Yesterday, the driveway was still too warm to be covered by the first measurable amount to fall, but the leaves weren’t.

Our landscape turned white overnight last night. Animal tracks are clearly revealed this morning. I didn’t go out yet, but Cyndie said there were no bear footprints on the trails she and Delilah walked. Plenty of deer and an occasional bunny rabbit, though.

I’m going to be comparing our new surroundings today to the contrasting snowless world I walked less than 24 hours ago in my wanderings around the grounds.

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Written by johnwhays

November 14, 2021 at 10:00 am

Not Over

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For all of the leaves that have fallen to the ground already, the autumn show of colors is not over yet. We are enjoying a thrilling pizzazz of fall scenery around our property. The floor of our forest has attained one of my favorite looks.

We now have a carpet of leaves beneath the dwindling canopy of the treetops.

A carpet with a variety of colors splashed across it.

Add a sunset that paints the clouds overhead all purple-y-pink and it started to look like we were wearing rose-colored glasses last night.

What a treat to be able to watch this show evolve right before our eyes and not have to plan a special trip to drive up north or some other place where the fall colors provide such spectacular autumn splendor.

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Written by johnwhays

October 12, 2021 at 6:00 am

Different Greens

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As the tree leaves lose their green color, different greens become much more apparent. Moss growth that has been around all along suddenly stands out much more vividly.

The carpet covering the forest floor that we have been walking upon all summer with little notice now resonates its emerald hue.

It will soon be our chance to spot the lingering green leaves of the invasive common buckthorn that I hunt and remove this time of year in an effort to avoid it overtaking more desirable native growth. The buckthorn leaves stay green longer than most of the other trees and undergrowth, making it relatively easy to find during walks around the property.

That is a different green we’d rather not have around, except for maybe an intentional hedge that is maintained with regular trimming. There are places along our property border where I might be inclined to let the buckthorn grow into a natural wall.

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Written by johnwhays

October 7, 2021 at 6:00 am

Less Color

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Not every plant bursts with color this time of year, but the changes still look cool.

Close to the forest floor, Cyndie snapped this shot of leaves with an eye-catching fade from green to an absence of color.

Walking through the woods yesterday we marveled over the carpet of leaves that are a perfectly distributed parquet of colors in certain sections. Under a few other trees, it’s one dominating color where all the leaves of individual trees dropped in a short span of time.

It’s interesting how they will soon all turn brown and not long after that, the ground will be covered with white.

Less color, indeed.

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Written by johnwhays

October 5, 2021 at 6:00 am

Spectacles

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

October 1, 2021 at 6:00 am

Colors Intensifying

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It’s already as dark as can be in the morning when I depart for my commute to the Cities and almost as dark before dinner’s barely finished so the swing of seasons is unmistakable. What I miss while I am at the day-job is the rapidly intensifying colors unfolding in a select few of our trees around Wintervale.

Luckily, Cyndie is home to capture the spectacle for me.

Soak it up with me…

Is that fun or what?!

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Written by johnwhays

September 29, 2021 at 6:00 am

Looked Up

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I looked up and this is what I saw:

It was one of those days when the sky doesn’t look cloudy, it just looks white.

That is all today. This writer is plumb writered out. Enjoy the variety of leaves.

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Written by johnwhays

September 27, 2021 at 6:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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