Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘shade

Early Success

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Part of me is hesitant to claim success about a recent transplanted tree, well, trees, but we have decided to enjoy it while it lasts. The truth really won’t be revealed until next summer, as to whether the four oaks we hastily decided to dig up and move out in the open field beyond the paddock ultimately survive the transplantation.

In the weeks since we moved them, these four oak trees have barely showed a symptom of shock. Now they are displaying the best of fall color, just as if nothing had happened to disrupt normal routine.

I don’t know if this apparent good health is a valid indicator of the overall success of our bold plan. I am prepared to discover otherwise next spring, but for now, we are tickled to see the normal fall behavior playing out.

If these work out, I will definitely be emboldened to do more of this to expand the range of oak trees on our property in the years ahead. There are so many little volunteer sprouts that show up every spring where they aren’t wanted or can’t be allowed to grow to maturity, we always have many opportunities from which to choose.

It is part of a long game, dreaming someday of tall trees that will provide natural cooling shade under which our horses can benefit.

It all starts with acorns and involves a little effort to nurture young trees in new locations.

Here’s hoping for success.

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Written by johnwhays

October 14, 2018 at 9:59 am

Spontaneous Transplantation

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Last night presented one of those moments that would unfold without us having a clue where it would ultimately lead. Thankfully, due to Cyndie’s willingness to run with it, we took a step that was long overdue.

She transplanted some volunteer sprouts of oak and maple trees.

It started with her walking the dog and me doing some work in the shop. I had the door open and some music playing. Suddenly, Delilah popped in to say hello. Cyndie paused to trim some growth around the vicinity.

While pulling weeds, she discovered the saturated ground made it easy to pull out the new tree sprouts.

We’ve been talking about transplanting trees for weeks, but never really formulated a plan on where they would go when we finally take action. Since she now had a stack of multiple beauties fresh out of the ground, it presented an urgency to decide on a new location for them.

I honestly have no idea why I didn’t come up with this before, but it hit me in an instant that planting them just outside the paddock fence would someday offer a natural shade for the horses inside the fence.

So, that’s what Cyndie did.

It will require some care to give these babies a fair chance at survival, but given the vast number of new sprouts showing up every spring, we will always have plenty of opportunities to try again, in case of any failures.

This is another thing that I would love to have done years ago, to have already taken advantage of that time for growth. The shade I’m looking forward to could be a decade away, to get the trees tall enough and filled out enough to cast a useful shadow.

It’s like our story about growing our own asparagus. People told us that it takes at least three years after planting to start harvesting stalks. For some silly reason, that information repeatedly caused us to not take action. Inexplicably, our response to something that required waiting a significant amount of time for results was to do nothing. Over and over again.

After three years, I mentioned that if we had just planted some when we first talked about the possibility, we could be harvesting already.

Then Cyndie came across the brilliant idea of not planting from seed, but buying a 2-year-old plant and burying it in the ground.

We are learning to get out of our own way.

In this regard, the spontaneity becomes our secret weapon. We will always get more progress if we just do it, and not wait for the “perfect” plan. We need to not worry so much about the possibility of failure.

My old mode of thinking involved not wanting to work hard on planting trees if they are just going to die, but I’m getting over that now. Maybe the four tries to succeed in the center of our labyrinth have softened my resistance.

We transplanted this group yesterday without any planning or preparation.

I have no idea what the result will be, but at least we have taken the required first step, thanks to Cyndie’s adventurous spontaneous effort.

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Laking It

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Happy Mother’s Day all you moms out there! We are starting the day up at the lake with Cyndie’s mom and dad. This afternoon, we have dinner plans with our children and whomever can make it from her brother’s families.

It feels like the middle of May.

Plants and trees up at the lake place are a week or more behind the growth that has popped at home. I find the perspective it offers points out the end of opportunities for easy access to our wooded areas. Up here, we can still walk easily in among the trees, while at home the explosion of leaves is quickly closing down views and avenues of travel.

On the plus side, we have the return of a shade canopy over our forests. That makes Delilah much happier.

With her thick coat, she is quick to seek out shade when we have her outside on sunny days. I assumed she would be thrilled with the opportunity to cool herself in the chilly water of the big lake this weekend, but she has surprised us with a distinct timidity at the water’s edge.

She has behaved totally non-fazed by the new confines of the cabin, and seems to adore exploring the grounds on her leash. Alas, the water holds no allure, even with the added excitement of spawning fish splashing about in the shallows.

I think it’s a good thing there are no signs the turtles have been burying eggs in the sand of the beach yet. She would be very pleased to dig for such treasure.

Between walks, she naps nearby during our card games, with only occasional startles or barks over the squawking crows and rare boat traffic happening by.

It’s been a soothing, calm getaway for us, nicely described by the term, “laking it.”

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Written by johnwhays

May 14, 2017 at 7:15 am

Got Shade?

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We’ve got shade by the round pen now!

DSCN3693eDSCN3691eYesterday, Cyndie stepped outside with Delilah and the dog made a beeline for a spot where there was another rabbit’s nest. It is pretty obvious that they breed like rabbits, because Delilah keeps finding new nests filled with babies.

In this case, Cyndie tried to rescue a couple of them from becoming Delilah’s next meal, but I don’t think she had much success. She walked back into the house and said, “I guess that’s why they call them ‘dumb bunnies’.”

Apparently none of them were smart enough to evade the resident predator.

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Written by johnwhays

July 19, 2015 at 6:00 am