Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘trees

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

Maximum Transition

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Wintervale is currently undergoing the full range of extremes in the transition from green tree leaves to none at all.

Very few of our trees seem to reach peak color on every branch at the same time. The majority become a mosaic of the original green that seems to resist the inevitable, the ultimate brilliance of autumn color, and the shriveling past-peak remnants bound to fall to the ground within hours.

The tree in the above image was sporting the most vivid reds two days ago. Yesterday, I noticed some of them just kept getting a deeper and deeper red until becoming almost black. Most of those have now fallen to the pavement below. Yet, there is still a limb or two with completely green leaves.

We experienced a couple of heavy rain showers yesterday, which surely contributed to bringing down batches of leaves en masse.

We are socked in with low cloud cover this morning which effectively dulls every view, but despite the few trees that have dropped many leaves in the last 24 hours, it still looks pretty special. I captured a long view yesterday before all the blue sky and sunshine completely disappeared.

The horses are growing their winter coats and the extended warmth and humidity we are experiencing had them sweating. The swing away from that to this morning’s cooler, wetter, and cloudier conditions provide a welcome change.

The season of bare tree branches is nigh.

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Written by johnwhays

October 3, 2021 at 10:16 am

Spectacles

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

October 1, 2021 at 6:00 am

Next Project

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It’s going to be another solo weekend for me as Cyndie will be at her mom’s house in Edina and that will give me a chance to make all sorts of racket with my newest wood splitting tool. It is one I ordered online last winter and had to wait to receive it until long after I had any interest in wrestling with it in the heat of summer.

I tested it on a few logs last April and quickly learned the metal-on-metal banging demands serious hearing protection. The gist of the mechanism is basically the same as my old splitter except it doesn’t glide on a stationary post, so it’s completely mobile!

It’s got two handgrips and I can take it to wherever the cut logs are piled to split them right there.

It just so happens we have several such piles after last weekend. When I cut up the trunk laying in the paddock, we also took care of a tree that was laying across one of our trails, one that was leaning against others in the woods between the house and chicken coop, and an old dead tree in the middle of the woods where I had just cleared a new trail.

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I will bundle those little logs with the chain shown in the image above –which is supposed to hold everything in place while splitting– and chop away with reckless abandon.

Then I’ll have piles of split firewood to collect with the famous ATV trailer that Cyndie bought as a replacement for the one she sold in her big barn sale, thinking we no longer needed it.

I’ll also have an upper body workout taken care of without needing to go to a gym. It’ll be a project with multiple benefits.

We’ll see if reality is able to live up to my ambitious visions.

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Written by johnwhays

September 30, 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

Inside View

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Justifiably so, most pictures of trees in autumn are from beyond the forest where the view can include the variety of brilliant colors glowing from entire trees. Yesterday, Delilah and I paused on a walk through our woods so I could capture the view of early autumn from within the trees.

There are plenty of green leaves still attached to branches but the forest floor is already carpeted by a new batch of recently fallen leaves. The onset of fall is first noticeable by the leaves that fall on our trails, before the ones that start turning colors up in the branches.

I find myself needing to put effort toward consciously noticing this IS autumn. The early phases of this transition beyond summer are just as much a part of my favorite season as the later phases when branches are bare and mornings frosty.

Earlier in the week, Cyndie captured her shadow visible on the trunk of a tree that was glowing orange with a spot of just-risen sunlight appearing through the forested landscape behind her.

It may be the last week of September but the grass on our property is growing like it’s still mid-summer. It is becoming common now that I end up mowing grass and mulching fallen leaves all at the same time.

It bothers me a little bit that I am not shocked that 80-degree temperatures are forecast for the next few days.

Just like the fall season IS here right now, so is global warming and all the effects scientists have long predicted would occur if humans didn’t reduce the creation of greenhouse gasses at the rate that has grown steadily since the beginning of industrialization.

Fall colors and hot temperatures are an odd combination for my mind to associate.

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Written by johnwhays

September 25, 2021 at 9:37 am

Getting Bolder

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Even though the number of trees around us that are starting to show some colors of autumn is few, a couple took a jump yesterday toward premium brilliance. Those spots of bold color are particularly eye-catching.

That dot of redness stands out distinctly against the green around it. When this happens, I imagine what that tree would look like if all the leaves changed to the same degree at the same time.

Around the corner from that area is a maple tree turning orange.

I hope this is an indication of fall color intensity we can look forward to seeing more of as the month progresses.

I heard that the ever-changing sunrise and sunset times are moving 3-minutes per day about now. That’s a loss of 21-minutes of daylight this week. Could less sunlight mean slower grass growth finally?

I’m ready to be done mowing for the season. I suspect we still have a ways to go until I can park the mower for the winter.

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Written by johnwhays

September 13, 2021 at 6:00 am

Mighty Oaks

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Today I am celebrating the mighty oak trees outside our door with a brief photo montage of three particular aspects that appeal to me: acorns, leaves, and the canopy of leaves.

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They fall to the foot of the tree and, with the help of squirrels, find their way far and wide, sprouting in so many unexpected locations.

Leaves also fall to the foot of the tree with surprising regularity throughout the summer. I’ve come to the realization that trees shed little branches like humans shed strands of hair.

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I love looking up at the canopy of leaves overhead. We have learned from our local DNR Forester that oak trees will sacrifice their lower branches when other trees grow up from below and begin to crowd the space and make contact with the oak branches. We are slowly working on an ongoing process of freeing our prized oak trees of competition from below.

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Written by johnwhays

September 8, 2021 at 6:00 am

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Squall Line

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Cyndie was out walking Delilah on our north loop trail near the road when she captured this dramatic view of yesterday mornings’ approaching thunderstorm.

They didn’t make it back to the house without getting soaked.

We received about 2.25 inches of rain out of the storm that kept Delilah incessantly barking at the continuous big, bad bowling balls rumbling in the heavens.

Our surface soil moisture amount now seems to be enough for most of our lawn grasses and all of the weeds. There is more rain predicted for the end of this week so maybe that will do something for our root-zone soil moisture that is still sorely lacking.

I just hope we don’t get one of those dousings like Tennessee just received that caused the catastrophic flash flooding.

The trees on our property dropped so many branches they reminded me of the amount of hair constantly shedding from my head. The big oak that stretches across the driveway up by the house has started to shed acorns. After our effort last year to collect 100 viable ones for a planting experiment, I now feel guilty every time I hear a cracking sound under my boots.

“That could have been a potential new tree!”

Yesterday, it dropped so many shards of branches onto the pavement below, the acorns weren’t even noticeable among the debris.

Walking Delilah through the woods became a stuttering start/stop exercise for her as I was constantly pausing to bend over and pick up branches to toss them off the pathway. Several were big enough they required a two-handed effort.

That doozy of a squall line ushered in quite a dose of heavy weather. Maybe the next precipitation could come in the form of a slow day-long soaking, thank you very much.

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Written by johnwhays

August 25, 2021 at 6:00 am