Before it starts raining today, I want to go take some pictures of the decorative grasses that were planted yesterday as part of the site preparation for the day when the Daughter's Fiance becomes my Son-in-Law. Here's what they looked like before the transplant. I'm assuming they're not considered invasive or they couldn't have been sold at a commercial nursery. Then, again? (Further research indicates the grasses are considered an annual in our planting zone, but invasive in Florida, California and the south and southwest U.S. in general.)
pre-planting ornamental grasses © harrington
Before the grasses could be planted where the bride-to-be wanted them, the husband-to-be and the father-in-law-to-be had to remove some smaller cedar trees. That was more of a chore than I wanted on Father's Day. The small tractor we have doesn't quite have the muscle for stump pulling. When I used to drive a full size pickup 4WD, that worked nicely. No, with my heart in my throat, I put the Subaru Outback to work. Other than the fact that the rope kept sliding off the stumps, and I had forgotten how sharp cedar needles are, it worked well. Here's the largest stump we had to deal with. I think the tap root went down further than the trunk went up.
pulling a cedar stump © harrington
Since we're working on establishing a small orchard, mostly apple trees, I think we're going to extirpate the rest of the cedar tree population on "The Property." After yesterday's experience, we may rent a stump grinder for the larger trees, or hire someone to grind them for us. I don't want to begin to think about what it must have been like years ago to clear some of the fields around here with hand saws and oxen. James Galvin seems to have a grasp that how we think about where we live depends largely on our perspective.
On First Seeing a U.S. Forest Service Aerial Photo of Where I Live
All those poems I wroteAbout living in the skyWere wrong. I live on a leafOf a fern of frost growingUp your bedroom windowIn forty below.
I live on a needle of a branchOf a cedar tree, hard-bitten,Striving in six directions,Rooted in rock, a cedarTree made of other trees,Not cedar but fir,
Lodgepole, and blue spruce,Metastasizing likeBacteria to the fan-Lip of a draw to drawWater as soon as it slipsFrom the snowdrift’s grip
And flows downward fromBranch to root — a treeRunning in reverse.Or I live on a thorn on a trellis —Trained, restrained, maybeCut back, to hold up
Those flowers I’ve only heard ofTo whatever there is and isn’tAbove.
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Please be kind to each other while you can.