Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Life, naturally

photo of snow falling on cedars
© harrington
Several times in recent weeks I've promised (or threatened, depending on your perspective) to take a picture of "Snow Falling on Cedars." The phrase is the title of an award-winning novel from 1995 that was subsequently made into a movie. The title has always resonated with me, kind of like an ear worm, maybe because I keep confusing it with The Cider House Rules in which an apple orchard was one of the settings. My appreciation for cedar trees, the wood has a wonderful aroma, is diminished by my desire to have an apple orchard and the fact that cedars host cedar-apple rust. There are a number of cedar trees on our property and elsewhere in the neighborhood.  Based on past experience though, I think the percolation rates that come with living on the Anoka Sand Plain are a more limiting factor to potential orchard's success. Twice we've planted fruit trees on the hill behind the house. A solitary pear tree is all that remains. In later summer and early autumn it attracts most of the neighborhood deer. I suppose it's possible that I'm more of a hunter-gatherer than a farmer. That would explain a lot of the curves and dead ends I've run into in my grandiose plans of living a self-sustaining life. Do any of you remember Euell Gibbons and Stalking the Wild Asparagus? I first read that book in the mid-1960's. It fostered my desire to be a harvester and gleaner, although I've been wise enough to stay away from wild mushrooms. I've settle for things like chokecherry and the few wild strawberries and  blackberry plants on the property that are fun to harvest if we get to them before the local bears do. Living in harmony with nature would undoubtedly be easier if we humans were less greedy and if nature were more cooperative. Perhaps much of the joy of living with nature is like the joy of blogging. It comes from trying to get it right. Stop back tomorrow to see how we're doing with that (that was an editorial "we").
For reasons I can't understand, the reply to comments function doesn't work for me (in 3 separate browsers) so I'm posting replies here.

To WildBill: Thanks for the comment. If you haven't yet discovered My New England by Frank Woolner, I think you'd enjoy reading it.

To Anonymous: Thanks for sharing. Wild leek and ham sounds more appealing (I think) than a "booya" offered as a fundraiser by Minnesota's fire fighters.