Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cedar spirits

The cedar trees on and about our property are eastern red cedar trees, not northern white cedars. In fact, according to Welby Smith's Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota, there are no northern white cedar trees in Chisago County, although they can be found to the north in Pine County, to the south in Washington County and to the west in Anoka and Isanti Counties. By the way, if you are looking for cedar trees in the index of Smith's tome, you need to look under "E" for eastern or "N" for northern, instead of "C" for cedar. The index makes as much sense to me as the fact that northern white cedars exist in every surrounding county but not right here in Chisago.

snow, fallen on cedars
Photo by J. Harrington

Fortunately, there's a listing of Chisago County plants on my computer, and I searched that for the word "cedar" and from there made progress with Trees and Shrubs. I'm not sure how the eastern red cedar got its name, possibly it's due to the fact that the foliage turns maroon in the winter? I had been unaware (unconscious?) of that change until recently, when I noticed that trees I thought I remembered looking green during Spring and Summer weren't green any more. Since we've been trying to establish some apple trees, and cedar trees are hosts to a rust that can infect apple trees, I've been concerned about rust management, but, according to the University of Minnesota Extension "Although the bright red and orange leaf spots and orange gelatinous galls symptomatic of these diseases are quick to draw attention, the disease rarely causes serious damage to its hosts and often does not require management in a home landscape." Now we can be less concerned about rust and focus more attention on the management of the damn pocket gophers that keep eating the roots of freshly planted fruit trees. I think I may be starting to get the hang of this bioregional stuff, which, like Zen, involves paying attention.

Before we go for today though, I want to be sure you get a chance to learn about one of the coolest cedar trees ever. The Spirit Tree, as far as I know, still overlooks Lake Superior. I'm going to try to see it in person sometime this year, since we're planning at least one trip "up north" some time next Summer.

End Fetish: An Index Of Last Lines

By Alice Fulton
a face stares back.
across the hostile centuries.
add a twist — delicious.
and never feel a thing.
commercial — added stretch to every gesture.
how it is made.
I almost admire it. I almost wrote despise.
I’d be all give. Let me put it like this==
in the nocturnal, recessed bed==
of nettles.
resembles the bird it will fly into.
Right now I’m trying to open wide.
she turns to a tree.
she would be neither-nor.
smoky field.
that is space.
the bride.
the exdream — the world gone into god again?
the night.
the white between the ink.
the white navel — I notice — in the O.
their harsh done crust.
then some inbetween?
to a nuptial lace.
to ever dwell again.
to mask the screen in dumb expanse.
touch in linen walls.
Turn — her — loose —
What — does not console?
who could bear to save her.
yes, god her saurian voice into the ground.

Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.