Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘maple tree

Red Leaves

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On my drive home from work yesterday, I accidentally allowed myself to hear news on the radio as it blathered nothing but bad vibes, one after another. It knocked me for a loop that needs an antidote of something hopeful or some promise that better days for all might lie ahead. I can only assume that promise remains somewhere beyond the horizon because it’s not visible to me yet.

I am lucky, though. Home is a sanctuary with Cyndie and our animals happy to greet me when I arrive and the scenery around our house offering a soothing view.

Check out the maple tree leaves turning red over Cyndie’s gardens.

It’s an early adopter.

Surrounded by love in our paradise, I was able to leave the gloomy news behind for the time being.

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Written by johnwhays

September 18, 2020 at 6:00 am

Three Trees

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Cyndie sent me this image yesterday and what caught my eye was the combination of three of the trees we have planted in our time here were all in the frame.

On the left is a crab apple in blossom.

On the right is a hydrangea that Cyndie planted beside her labyrinth. When we moved the gazebo last year, that tree needed to be relocated to the opposite perimeter.

In the background is a maple that we moved from beneath one of our big old maples a short distance away to the east. That little maple offspring is now all by itself in the center of the labyrinth.

All three trees have gone through a lot in these new locations. The hydrangea is showing some green this spring, but we think it is a last gasp before the end. We were thrilled to see it didn’t appear to look shocked after the last transplantation, but then, later in the summer, a limb dropped off and revealed a spongy wound that showed little sign of healthy life.

I didn’t expect to see any leaves this spring, so what did sprout has me curious to see what another year might bring.

The most rewarding of the three is that maple. It was our fourth try to get a maple of that size to survive the trauma of the move to the middle of the labyrinth. I like to imagine what it will look like in a hundred years when it towers over the circuitous garden.

I hope to live long enough to see what a 20-year-old tree looks like in the labyrinth.

In the meantime, we are thoroughly enjoying all of them, just the way they are each day.

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Written by johnwhays

May 26, 2020 at 6:00 am

Growing Hope

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Our hope is growing for the maple tree we transplanted to the center of the labyrinth. If you are keeping score, this is the 4th time we have tried to move a maple sapling from beneath one of the character-filled old giants lining the driving path along the back pasture fence line.

This tree is currently holding its leaves longer into the summer than any of the previous attempts did. Between our extra effort and the favorable weather conditions this year, I’m finally allowing myself to hope this one will take, maybe even flourish!

It’s funny how much I want certain things to grow, while at the same time wishing others wouldn’t. It would be just great if the weeds currently sprouting in the hay-field would just take the rest of the summer off. I’d love it if the tree-climbing vines would cease and desist. And the poison ivy that is thriving here could make me very happy if it would just shrivel up and die.

Maybe I should try to transplant the things I don’t want. I could do a mediocre job and watch them wilt away.

Do plants fall for reverse psychology?

The growth along the fence lines has been neglected for too long and has become both a nuisance and an eyesore. Cyndie, back when she had the use of both arms, was doing a heroic job of landscape maintenance using the Stihl power trimmer. In her absence, the fence lines have been ignored, as I’ve been putting my focus on the lawn and the main part of the fields.

As it is, I haven’t even kept up with the fields. There is still one section of pasture that I haven’t cut all summer, and it has gotten about as overgrown as possible.

Even though I am behind on the mowing, it occurred to me last night that we shouldn’t feel too bad about the state of things. Over the last two weekends, we have given up over 4 days to entertainment activities which borrowed entirely from time I would have been tackling chores on the property.

It appears that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to interfering with my ability to get things done. I better review Wintervale’s time-off policy and see if there has been a violation of the guidelines.

Now, if I could only figure out where the HR department is around here…

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Written by johnwhays

July 25, 2017 at 6:00 am

Nascent Blossom

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It looks like we have some mixed success with our transplanting of last year. The maple sapling we hoped would be our 3rd-time’s-a-charm in the center of the labyrinth is not showing signs of life. For comparison, I check the trees of similar size back in the area from which we moved him, to see progress of buds and leaves. They already have a lot of buds.

Sad.

The good news is with our trillium. I’m not sure we have 100% success, but any is better than none, and we definitely have a couple groups of blossoms.

DSCN4727eIt’s a long way from the┬ácarpet of flowers we get in the woods up at the lake place, but it’s a great start! The next excitement to celebrate will be the day we see them spreading naturally and bringing up new shoots nearby. That’s what we are hoping for anyway.

Since we have success transplanting small plants, I am tempted to just transplant a little seedling of a maple tree to the labyrinth to increase my odds of success. If I would have done that a few years ago, we’d probably now have one about the size of what I keep trying to move.

It is just so tempting to see a nice crown of leaves overhead in that spot. I’ll probably try again next fall. First, we’ll find one that looks like a good candidate when it is fully leafed out this summer, and we’ll mark it. Then when it drops its leaves and goes dormant, we’ll dig it up and move it.

Hoping the 4th time will be the charm.

Place your bets on which we will achieve first: a naturally spreading carpet of trillium blossoms in our woods, or a surviving transplanted maple tree in the labyrinth garden.

I’m going to keep trying to accomplish both. Practice makes perfect.

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Written by johnwhays

May 5, 2016 at 6:00 am

Labyrinth Water

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I only accomplished a short portion of my list of things deserving immediate attention yesterday. First and foremost, I completed the project to install a hose spigot for water to the labyrinth garden. Despite my 3 attempts to achieve a leak-free set of connections at the bottom of the hill, I quit while there remained a slow drip and deemed it good enough for now. Perfection isn’t everything, you know.

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If you look closely, you just might be able to spot the transplanted maple tree by the large rock at the center of the labyrinth. It appears to be holding its own in this first summer out in the open sunlight.

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Written by johnwhays

June 28, 2015 at 8:46 am

Wonderful Wetness

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DSCN3474eWe have received several days of light-to-moderate precipitation which is soaking in more than running off, and the plants around here seem pretty thrilled with the conditions. The grass sure is growing fast.

Hopefully, the horses have properly adjusted to all the greenery available for grazing, as we are now leaving the gate to the back pasture open 24/7 again. They don’t seem to like the noise made by rain on the metal roof of the barn, so when precipitation is falling, they move away, either to the bottom of the paddock or way out in the pasture.

I was in the city working yesterday, and when I got home in the afternoon, Delilah was laying in the gate area of her kennel, which is beyond the tarp that covers the main area, so she was soaking wet. Silly dog.

DSCN3463eWe walked down to feed the horses, but they didn’t show any interest in coming in from the far side of the pasture. Since it was raining steadily, I didn’t wait around for them, taking Delilah on an abbreviated walk back toward the house.

After having just mowed last Saturday, there are places where it already looks like it needs cutting again, just 3 days later. On our way in, I stopped to empty the rain gauge, which had 2 inches of rain in it since Saturday.

Before going to the horses, we had stopped by the labyrinth to see that the maple tree looked okay (hard to tell exactly when the leaves are drooping from the wetness), and the trillium in the woods was looking very good.

I’m grateful for the rain not coming all at once in a gully-washing downpour, but instead has soaked in enough to help fuel growth in everything around here. It’s making things a sloppy mess in some places, but overall, it is a wonderful wetness.

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Written by johnwhays

May 27, 2015 at 6:00 am

Still Hoping

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I wrote earlier about being on my third attempt to successfully transplant a young maple sapling to the center of our labyrinth. Each time, we have tried something a bit different from the time before, hoping to eliminate issues that contributed to those failures. This time, our method was to dig out as big a root ball as possible and transfer as much intact soil as we could, and to do so before the tree had leafed out.

DSCN3448eWe were a few days later than I had wanted, as the buds were just starting to open, but it was still better timing than the previous two attempts we had made. I was greatly relieved to see the buds continue to open and full leaves unfold about a week after we moved it.

I’m a bit like a nervous parent now, checking on it every chance I get, as if peeking in to see if our little baby is safe and sound while she naps. I thought the leaves looked a little droopy yesterday afternoon, but looking around at all the other trees of that size, plenty of them have that same look. I wondered if it might be a result of the shift back to colder temperatures.

There were frost warnings posted last night for central Wisconsin. No wonder the leaves are experiencing a little shrinkage!

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Written by johnwhays

May 13, 2015 at 6:00 am