Category: Our Trees

1st Yoshino Blossoms – March 10, 2012

The Yoshino Cherry Trees have opened their first blossoms of 2012 today! They are early, as they were last year.

Yoshino Blossoms Opening! a photo by Maisy.

 

April Freeze Damage

I posted the other day about the “freezing weather” and wanted to post an update on the situation.

When I looked at the back yard after the sun came up Sunday mornig it was obviously “frosty” out — the grass was not the bright verdant color that is usual of late. I waited awhile for things to warm up, then waited longer … and finally set out to spy the damage or not.

The apple trees are in a sad state of affairs. They did not have that blooming pink look from afar, and getting closer it was obviously brown droopy looking, the blossoms that had opened mostly all were affected from what I could see. There are many blossom that aren’t opened yet, and I don’t want to disturb any of them yet to check for damage.

The white dogwood (in the back yard too) looked sad, the blossoms just hanging there, the leaves mostly looked alright.

The Eastern Redbud tree is close-by the dogwood, and it was totally drippy looking, the blooms had already faded before the freeze, and it was leafing out so nicely, but the leaves were so delicate, they were black and drippy looking, gooey, icky. The whole tree is full of that black sludge which used to be sweet spring leaves.

We have 3 Autumn Flame Maples in the back yard, and they are done with their bloom and have been leafing out. They are not fully leafed out yet, and the leaves are fairly small. From what I saw they look a bit droopey, but not totally affected –maybe.

We have 2 Paperbark Maples as well back there, and their little fresh leaves that have been coming out lately are super-droopey.

We have other trees that are fully leafed out already and they faired fine.

Out in our front yard the 2 Cherokee Chief Dogwoods we have faire alright, their only blooms are high up and seem pretty much unaffected.

We had planted a new tree a few weeks ago, and it began leafing out just in the last week or so. It’s leaves are pretty much like the Eastern Redbud that I described above, drippy and black-ish. πŸ™

My Hostas were coming up, quite large and lovely, and they are brown sludge now. πŸ™

The peonies have been putting out growth and they seem alright, we’ll see later. There are a few buds starting and time will tell.

The little irises I have have been growing up, but they look a bit dippy, it’s just the “leaf” part, no buds or blooms started yet.

The Japanese ‘Bloodgood’ Maple is fully leafed out, but the leaves aren’t as big as they’ll eventually get, and they look a tad relaxed. Time will tell whether or not they rebound with strength this week.

That’s most of the damage.

The weather was forecasted to be very much below freezing last night, but I didn’t check the forecast as nighttime drew closer. We did not have freezing temps, probably 39 in reality as a low, if not a bit higher. So there shouldn’t be any further damage to what’s left.

I haven’t seen a Spring Freeze like this since being in GA, and before that I was in S. FL for many years. So I don’t have any experience regarding what will occur. I have seen trees drop their leaves in Summer from drought, and re-grow some later on, FWIW. We had long drought conditions in past years on this property, but that’s not been the case for a little while now. I was looking forward to a vigorous growing season all around, trees, flowers, garden, and it’s the phrase of April now, “time will tell” — time being “the progressive movement of the season” –not the ‘clock’ sort of time. πŸ™‚

April Freeze and Gardening 2007

From Friday night to Saturday morning it was supposed to be really cold, just below freezing. I don’t think that actually happened on our property … yes it was cold, but not quite to freezing, from how the grass and blooms and herbs and such look in our yard(s) as of Saturday afternoon …

Now it’s the Saturday night to Sunday morning freeze warning time, and temperatures are supposed to be even lower, in the 20’s tonight/morning as well as tommorow night (Sunday to Monday AM.)

One clue for “how cold is it right now” that I employ to reason about what’s going on outside is the heat pump, which sits outside on the ground with pipes going into the house and up the wall into the attic space … and that’s right behind our master bedroom, right where the bed is situated, of course (the only “real placement” for the bed, unfortunately.) When it’s really cold the heat pump doesn’t do a good job, the closer it gets to freezing, there isn’t enough “warmth” in the air to pull it into the house for warmth inside via the houses air system. It makes a horrid racket when it’s actually freezing or lower and the heat pump is running.

Friday to Saturday it sounded similar to how it sounds right now. It’s the Saturday to Sunday time currently, 5:30am approx. and accuweather “says” right now it’s 28 degrees. Well that’s not exactly right, since our property doesn’t have a weather station nearby, and when I have had a decent temperature gauge for outdoors I was able to compare and know for sure that our temps here are not the same as what ‘they’ say (nor actual weather, like clouds, rain, snow, etc.)

So we are waiting for the daylight hours to see what it’s like outdoors, and I hope things will be alright. We have three dwarf apple trees that don’t always bloom so nice. Guess what? They sure are THIS year, ALL THREE of them at the same time. So it does figure that we have the first late cold snap ever since living here … this late, April.

Not only that, usually the two trees that are alike, Liberty variety, don’t actually “bloom” with their opened blossoms until later in April, and the third tree, MacFree variety, blooms after that (which isn’t really helpful since two varieties are needed to fertilize for apples.) There was definitely something funky going on with the MacFree and I was finally able to prune out major parts of it last year, when they suddenly got such long branches growing, it was obviously the root stock trying to take over. What’s is left untouched now is the real MacFree, as far as it seems, and this Spring 2007 is the first time it’s actually produced masses of buds.

We planted these trees in early Spring of 1998, and then did move them to another area a few years later. In any case, the Liberties have blossomed well in the past, but given us few apples. The MacFree never did blossom very well, though when it did better it was not of use to the Liberty trees. Last couple of years there were a few apples on the MacFree (so there is something else in the area that bees are using to fertilize my trees, obviously.)

Such promise I put in the apple trees this year, and then the Spring was so warm, and the trees started to form buds in March. That is not usual. We didn’t have a freeze in March really, it was regular last freeze around March 15, but nothing major, and temperatures were very warm most of the time, very warm indeed. Last (2005/2006) winter was a warm one, and things were so very mild, but the apple trees still didn’t set blooms until into April in 2006. This past winter (2006/2007) was fairly mild overall, and we didn’t have much “weather” in the way of ice or snow, no major storm at least. We did have rain more often than usual, though not so much overall. In any case, everything has been blooming so nicely this year, and that includes the apple trees, and unfortunately for them it’s not a good thing this year. πŸ™

Dogwoods are blooming right now too. The Cherokee Chief variety we have in the front don’t have a lot of blooms, but where they do is at the top and they are lovely (we need to do some work on those trees, pruning.) We have a white dogwood in the backyard and it’s in full glory of bloom. It’s gorgeous. Driving around the area, Dogwoods are bursting forth in massive color and bloom. It’s a grand year for Dogwoods. Or it was. We’ll see later on. πŸ™

So many other plants are past bloom already and in the process of leafing out, some leafed out in full already (like our Japanese ‘Bloodgood’ Maple tree, our Weeping Willow tree, and our wild Blackberries are in full leaf and actually setting blooms and some are opening already.)

As I write this the heat pump is starting to struggle for the first time this night-time. It’s not super bad, but does sound bad enough, so it’s near 32 or below a tad … but doesn’t “sound” like it’s in the 20’s, while currently accuweather says right now it’s 28, oh I just loaded the page again and now they say “30” but that’s where anyhow? Miles away.

Hubby did put a blanket on my herb garden (which doesn’t have much in it, but does have a super-duper verdent perennial Chives that is just about ready for harvesting — already!) — it’s the whiskey barrel garden. I have lots of new herbs to plant in it, we got them last weekend, but I didn’t plant them due to the weather outlook. So they are in the garage awaiting their time to transplant.

I have lots of seeds to start and since it did snap so cold I’m fine with the fact that I haven’t even started my seeds yet –it is something I do need to do in the next couple of days, though.

Apple Trees will bloom soon

Our Liberty Apple trees will be blooming soon. The buds are setting and two on one of the trees opened today. I supposed many will open tomorrow and Monday. The problem with this is that the tree that needs to bloom so that the Liberty blossoms can be fertilized is our MacFree, which rarely has put out more than a handful of blooms and usually those only open when the Liberty trees have nearly finished there bloom. It’s frustrating since we bought these trees through a catalog nursery which said these two are good together for making apples. Hmph. We do need to trim down the MacFree, it may be growing all wrong, from the root stock more than from the MacFree. These are Semi-Dwarf apple trees. So really I want to get Crab Apple trees … they’ll do the job of looking nice and helping out the Liberty Apple blossoms. We don’t have any plans to get any Crab Apple trees installed though, at this point.

One day I hope we can move from this property and I’ll be sad to leave these Apple trees. I’ve wanted to do good by them and get sprays and helps for them, so far they are au’ naturel except for some pruning and fireblight spray help in past years. It costs money to upkeep apple trees. Money that we would have had but didn’t have after all the job changes in the past years since we got the trees. So we got the trees with good intentions.

If we are able to go sooner than later, or perhaps get some land first that we will build upon … then we could move these trees, but I wouldn’t want to do that later than sooner. I’d feel better about it moving them to another place where we would be with them for longer, while we still had this property and could replace the trees here with something else before selling. It’s a sort of silly attachment to the trees that I have. I don’t think they are doing as well here as they would do on another property. We got the trees right when I first was pregnant with Victoria, and we planted them after we had just known for certain our second child was on the way for a week or so. They have special meaning therefore. I chose them for the type and name and they ended up being more special due to baby stuff afterthefact.

So it goes that we have another year of Spring Fertilization beginning and little hope of a nice apple crop once again as well. If the bee population is higher it would be helpful, and if there are other apple trees in the area that could be a help under higher bee population conditions. I would have bees on our own larger property, for fertilization of apples and veggy garden, and for honey. I won’t get into that sort of thing in our little subdivision though. So we are dependant on whatever conditions prevail … and that will be blessed by God this year I hope, so we can have some apples in September, just a few would be nice. Liberty apples are so crisp and sweet. So very nice. We have had only a few but never enough nice ones to have for long. Just a few for a day or two’s use, then none. Or not even that. Disease and yucky who-knows-what kind of things take most of the apples that form. So I’m anxious for the day when I can have pro-active sprays to increase yield, and bees and other trees to aide fertilization!

Locust Nursery

A nutty thing I’ve been doing is collecting our Locust Tree babies. They are springing up everywhere in the circumference of that dear tree. It’s the only tree that existed on our property when we first moved in, November 1997. It’s right by the property line, so not quite all ours, but mostly. It gives late afternoon shade, it shields that western sun from baking that front corner of the backyard. It gives shade earlier afternoon too, just less, and that grows to a huge swath by mid-late afternoon as the sun moves across the sky. Every year the tree gets bigger and the swath of shade grows.

That tree was a little skinny “weed tree” as I called it when we moved in. It has grown magnificently. There is an offspring of it that sits in the pathway of our backyard gate. It should have been moved last year, or the year before. Lethargy of mowing stopped Frank from mowing as often, obviously, and that tree sprang up. It got very big last Summer, and has some branches that stretch high into the heavens, nearly as tall as the garage roof which the tree is next to. It must still be moved. I have a space for it all planned out, and several other babies in that nursery actually growing since a few weeks ago there. I have hopes of a nice Locust Grove.

On the deck I have several bowls and jars of various sizes, glass. Water babies inside. That’s water and babies. I haven’t counted them. Numerous ones there are. Over a hundred easily. They won’t all grow up to be healthy trees. If they survive my care and are actually planted one of these days, I’ll have to cull some of them of course. I can’t really let them all grow to tree-hood. That would be immensly stupid on my part. We’d have a Locust Forest before too many years given that.

I don’t know what variety of Locust Tree this big parent is, but it’s wild. It was there when the developer wrangled the soil for this subdivision in whatever year that was, 1995 or 1996. It was left there. Amazingly. I’m glad for it. It has become my friend, that’s for sure.

The first year we were here it had pods hanging from it. Those pods dried out and rattled and fell all over the place. Messy, yes, but it wasn’t so bad. The next year and following years it did not make pods. I’ve written about this tree before, recently too I think. Anyway, it did bloom in the last year or two finally. This spring the seeds from that podding are sprouting abundantly. My eye spots every one of them that is in open area. It’s a curse almost. I dig them out with my fingers. I have dirt embedded under my fingernails this season. It’s a disease, dig out baby locust sprouts.

So I take them to the deck and plunk them into water. They send up two leaves with their thick sprouting trunk-ish self. Those two leaves open out then the real locust looking leaves come up from that middle and spread … frondy and beautiful. That’s the stage to which I’m putting them in water to. From there I’ll plant some of them. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do, but I must put them in the ground. I put some, years past, in a planter, and they all died because I forgot to water them for awhile. Bad me.

So I will probably ask Frank to Mantis me out a plot of ground for Locust Nursery, and then maybe I can grow some fine specimens and get good at growing them and knowing what to do and what to look for in a good locust sappling. Maybe someone somewhere would like some of them. I don’t know. All I know is, they are free trees. They grow wonderfully, become great shade trees. They aren’t ugly, they are thorny, they do bloom fragrant tiny white blooms eventually then set up big green pods that turn brown and then rattle as they mature and dry out. They fall in autumn and winter to the ground, and in the coming years those pods open up and the brown thick little seeds germinate, sprout to become new trees, as long as they aren’t mowed over.

They aren’t climbing trees. They have messy pods, but those pods aren’t gooey, just abundant when they are formed. They are easy enough to rake up and dispose of. I don’t know, as I said, what variety of Locust this tree is, but here it is nice looking, and has bloomed for us only once in 7 years. It must have bloomed in Spring 1997 since the tree had abundant pods on it that September when we first saw the house being built.

I’ll find a picture of the tree from way back then, and find a recent photo of it to compare growth. I’ll see about pictures of the seeds and seedlings too.

Spring Plant Profile

Our trees, etc:

Autumn Flame Maple – 3 : blooming
October Glory Maple – 1: nearing readiness to bloom
Weeping Willow – 1: leafed out and getting longer
Apple: 3: waiting until April
Yoshino Cherry – 3: getting ready to bloom soon
Cherokee Chief Dogwood – 2: getting ready to open blooms
The mystery tree we forgot the name of – 1: blooming and leafing out
Various other little trees are starting to grow and put leaves out, no blooms on them.

Pussy Willow bush is ready to go, but isn’t yet.

Peony bushes are pushing up their burgundy spikes still.

Hostas are pushing up their purpleish spikes now too.

Iris – several plants – are growing more again

Lambs Ear – 1: is getting new growth going and extending itself further

1 unknown bulb is putting up leaves, but don’t know what it is. (it’s never flowered in previous years, it’s something left from something I planted there a few years ago that never did anything)

In my herb garden the two varieties of Thyme there are growing more, the Spring Thing! I gave them a hair cut the other week as well.

BeeBalm is getting a bit more spunky, expect it to start growing upwards again soon.

Chives are getting spunky too, starting to put out bigger greener Springy tubes.

That’s not all, there is more, but those are the main plants. It’s Spring!

Spring! Signs everywhere!

It’s a lovely day so far. It’s supposed to be up to around 61 degrees F. The sun is shining. Spring is in the air.

I forgot to post this exciting news the other day. Victoria were on the deck the other day sorting through some Thyme I’d cut out of my herb garden (hair cuts for Thyme plants). I heard an odd sound, an odd bird sound, garbly trilly odd. I didn’t have my glasses on so I couldn’t tell if there was something over this or that way making the noise, in trees or something. She pointed to the east. I squinted my eyes, Ah there it is!

A huge V of geese flying due North at a nice clippy pace. The first sign of Spring Migration!

It was a euphoric site and had me on high excitement levels for quite awhile.

In other news, the Weeping Willow tree is looking very dotty green. It’s fronds are long yet, not at all, but she’s a-puttin them out and from a distance you can see those green things coming out. It’s beautiful. I fear she’s too early though. We have a few weeks to go before the probably “last freeze”. In fact, in the next 15-days forcast Accuweather is calling for many nights down to 32, 31, 29. It’s not that which will be a problem, most likely, but it’s the fact that in the last couple of days they did have “ice storm” maybes in the forcast. They’ve gone away from the forcast, but could come back.

In the greater Atlanta area there are many trees starting to bloom. Cherry trees, or something like them, not the kind we have (ours bloom into March or so –Y. Cherries) and a few others. Maybe they aren’t cherry trees, but they look like the K. kind (I can’t recall the names to spell them out, so figure out the Y and K please yourselves πŸ˜‰ )

Today I saw a Bluebird looking at the nest box. I need to relocate that box. Last year it was nothing but bad stuff for them there. As well, today there were E. Starlings on the fence by the bird box. They were bothering the Bluebirds, of course. Going out I just have to clap and yell a second or two and the Starlings fly away, but the Bluebirds stay. πŸ™‚ I can’t watch them every moment of the day though πŸ™

So I need to get a pole to mount the box on in another place in the yard. Frank, mark that down. πŸ™‚ You are the pole buyer. πŸ˜‰

I would also like a new big bird feeder … mine fell over in a storm last year and started to crumble, not worth the fixing. So I have no nice feeder. I also would like a few more Hummer Feeders, through different things all but one is broke now. Just my nice one is around for now. It’s delicate, blown glass shaped like a long tubular flower. It’s a piece of art really. It’s not a “filler-er-up” many times in a month type. I like the feeders that have many stations on them. So this artsy one is not for that, it’s a one-at-a-timer.

We were in Bass Pro Outlet last night, they have some nice single Hummer Feeders … made out of all kinds of glass bottles and copper and such twisted around them to hold them up, very pretty decorations on them, big old decorative Hummer Feeders all in themselves! But single feeders — pricey too. $19 and up. πŸ™

I’m doing some work on my “herb garden” here and there. I really want to get it in good shape, get more plants in it, and a nice brick border, or a short picket fence around it. It’s a battle keeping the creeping weedy grasses out of it. So the Mantis needs to come out of the garage and do some work for me. Edging first, then cultivation between “rows” to loosen the dirt, get rid of little springy weeds, then I get get in there and do the hefty stuff easier, tidying up and hopefully getting a mulch to put on the dirt, and as I said before, more plants. I have Bee Balm and 3 kinds of Thyme, and Chives that are perennials that are doing alright. I also have two other plants in there that are not “herbs” but are nice butterfly attracters. Purple Cone Flower, and a Giant — I forget it’s name. Both die back to the ground in the winter. The herbs don’t die back, the Thyme keeps plugging away winter long, and the chives scale back but don’t go away, same with the Bee Balm.

I may only have 2 types of Thyme now. I recall that one of the 3 is “Wooly Thyme” and may be under some weeds in the corner, or vanished … or may come back in some small way that I can work with. I also have English Thyme and German Thyme. My English is more leggy and loose –mild smell; the German is more bushy and thick–more smell to it too.

The Peonies out front have continued to put up their first shoots out of the ground. They should be super duper huge this year, and I need to put out supports for them for sure. Frank, take note– I need stakes and garden string! πŸ™‚

Ice Storm Cometh

Brrr. It’s cold again. It was so nice the last couple of days. I was wearing a summer dress yesterday. Day before too. Now it’s back to BRRRR!

There is a Winter Storm Warning for our area. Should be rain coming later today, and with plummenting temperatures, Ice or Sleet or a Mix, and maybe Snow or Flurries. That should be all mostly on Saturday. Sunday it’s supposed to be in the mid-40’s.

This morning in bed I had the Weather Channel on and the temperature was going lower and lower. It was so warm most of the night, then whomp! It started going down. Other areas around here, to the east, in NC and SC were even lower temperatured, since the dew point was in the single digits there, but by us it was in the 20’s. That’s the difference in how cold or hot some other place may be in comparison to another place.

Currently it’s 34 degrees F. Feels like 27 degrees F. Dew Point is at 1 degree. See, it went down, so did our temps and feel’s like temps. Humidity is at 25. Dry as a bone cold.

Sure it’s colder up North in other places. So what. Dry Cold is still COLD different degrees are more dangerous, sure, but being cold is still being cold.

Living in one’s Freezer is generally not much fun. Living in one’s Refridgerator is cool, but not THAT bad.

Think of it: Refridgerator Door Opens, you look for something, taking your time …
Freezer door opens, Rushing to find what you want, slam the door shut fast.

In the Summer, the Fridge feels good. The Freezer offers instant cool down. In the Winter, the Fridge sends a chill your way, and the Freezer is no fun place to be near.

I speak of a nature regulated house. No Central A/C or Central Heat.

So I need to go find a wool sweater to put on. I’m wearing lesser clothing for this weather. Lots more than I was wearing yesterday, but it’s not good enough!

For now, it’s that my toes are chilly, and my fingers are quite cold. I have a big kitten in my lap keeping THAT warm as I type. If I wasn’t typing I could put my hands under said kitten, and get warmer fast! Continue reading

Liberty Apple Blossoms

Here is the best photo I took with the digital camera on April 9, 2004, IMO. It’s a closeup portrait of blossoms on a Liberty Apple Tree. It’s a semi-swarf tree, we have two of them, originally planted in March 1998 as small bareroot trees in the front yard, and moved to their present location in the backyard, near the Bluebird Nestbox, a couple of years ago, when we put in a bunch of other trees.

Portrait of Liberty Blossoms, April 9, 2004, NE Georgia.

This photo is incredible as a desktop, so check back for a version that will satisfy your own monitor soon! It’ll be available to download by Friday, if not before.

UPDATE: It’s Saturday 12:32pm eastern; I obviously don’t have the desktop available for download. I won’t promise when that’ll be now, but it’ll be ASAP. πŸ™‚

Ice Storm

On Sunday late afternoon, the rain on trees started to turn to ice. So, we finally had an ice storm. It was mild here, the roads were mostly safe, as far as we know from what we experienced.

Everything was frozen through this morning, only melting as the morning warmed up finally. One and a half days of ice was nice … the tree’s are exceptionally pretty like that, but weak trees tend to break or fall over in a dangerous bend. Well planted, healthy trees are generally alright, but older and natural planted pines tend to have problems here in GA.

We were at the Mall of GA last night, B&N, and the sight was so silvery, so many trees all decked out in natures beautiful ice.

I would have pictures of our trees right now, but the Digital camera is not working again. I have film pictures, well, will have eventually.

I’m frustrated with this [digital] camera, it has worked alright, then didn’t at all, then did fine for awhile then now doesn’t work again. We’ll have to find the book and look to see if temps are going to make certain thing not work. The thing about the two “not working” times is that the are not the same. First time the lens did not come out at all. This time it does come out, then goes right back in.

So, it’s now soggy time, as the temps go up, and all that rain gets to absorb into the ground finally.

We are in for a few nights of below freezing though, and only Partly Cloudy days, which are not quite sunny or warm enough to make things warm in the house. Well, we had a couple of nice days before the ice days. Winter continues, cold, warm, mild conditions, a little wintry weather.

It is a late first ice we’ve had. It really wasn’t in the usual ahead forecasts. We do have the next forecast wintry weather on Feb 6. Rain, mixed with snow, then later snow possible. It’ll be interesting to see if we get that, and how soon or late, and if anything else crops up.

Mild Weather and trees

We’ve hit another mild spell in the weather. It was in the high 50’s to low 60’s on Monday (I say today, since I’ve yet to fall asleep πŸ™‚ ) Tomorrow (really “Today” Tuesday) it’s supposed to reach 63 degrees F. The low overnight tonigh should be down to 38, and that is so much nicer than 32 or thereabouts. It will be similar to this through Thursday, then back in the 40’s for highs, which if sunny out, are mild enough generally, in the back yard especially, where we get full sun all day. Our property is diagonally positioned so the sun rises at our back (when looking out the back door) left corner of the property (we have a straight-lined rectangular property.)

Our trees are all still too young to give any shade that amounts to much of anything. (We planted them in the front and back in Spring 2002) Our property was treeless, minus the one “weed tree” (what I called it before I knew what it was) that is on our SW property line at the point that our backyard fence meets the back of the front yard just behind the garage. It looked like an overgrown weird tree. I saw no glory in it that first year, then the second year as well. The third year we had a landscape designer come out to survey the property and draw up a plan. He asked some questions about it’s habits (that weedy tree) and he said it was a honey locust … that it had little white flowers in the Spring and a high fragrance … right? We said “No”. So well it was a Locust tree of some kind, but not a honey. So we thought.

After that, that tree grew more and more and finally turned into a lovely mid to late afternoon shade tree. Giving shade at the front West corner of the backyard. That hot sun plus that tree at least give a small space for the children to play in on afternoons.

We were in official drought the whole time we lived here, until 2003. In early 2003 we had enough rain. That weed tree BLOSSOMED! Whoa! It was the smell that made me notice it, never had it blossomed in our time living there. Tell tale things I’d learned before that blossom time were met with actual visual truth during the summer. The blossoms fertilized, green leather strips of seed pods were being formed and grew to long lengths. Autumn brought change to leaves, and the leaves all fell, and the seed pods began to dry out.

We had found traces of old seed pods in the yard the previous years, old ones from before we saw the house first in September of 1997. The mystery was solved, this tree DID produce them. It was a hard few years of drought. So the good rain we finally got gave good results. Enough good life to make a joyful blossoming tree. We had super thick pods on it this Autumn, and a few windy days blew them all off minus a few. Believe me, a decent blossom makes for massive pods which if not disposed of will be everywhere thickly for a long time.

It’s a tree I can appreciate, it grows fairly fast. And does give great shade, though it’s not a straight up and down tree, it usually has a few “trees” that sort of grow together in a clump, in it’s natural setting. It, of course, has thorns, big thorns. But it’s a great shader.

We planted 3 apple trees in March of 1998, and moved them Spring of 2003 before they started to blossom. We also planted several maple trees, Autumn Flame, October Glory, and Japanese Bloodgood. We had some sticks that we planted from “Arbor Day Foundation” (I call them sticks, they look like that, bare root sticks) Well one of them, only one, began to grow very well in 2002 so we moved it to nearer to the house, not knowing what it was, since I lost all ID of the seedlings. Well, all those are suppose to flower, but not so far. This tree is is incredible though, it was many inches shorter than me in Spring 2003 and is taller than me by several inches now. It has thorns too. It’s a nice thick, full tree.

We also now have two Paperbark Maples and a Weeping Willow. I checked several of these trees today, and the buds are getting rather prominent. We still have half of January, all of February, and half of March to get through before it’s nominally safe for the trees to start blooming. But there is no controling nature. So many mild spells are hopefully not going to spoil a beautiful spring KABOOM bloom this year.

I enjoy the temps warming though. This month is going fast, it’s the 13th already, and since it’s been rather sunny and not so bitter it seems like Spring is truly around the corner, but it’s really way to early even so. I’m still looking for nasty weather in the forcasts. I just checked and we have some below freezing temperature forcast for over a week away, no snow or anything though.

That’s what things are like mid-January. Just really odd.

Building Time

I was looking out the back door and noticed something moving in the Maple in the East part of the yard, directly ahead to the left a bit.

I got out my binoculars, and sure enough, in the tree was a Northern Mockingbird, building a nest. I went out and looked at it a little while ago, and it’s in early development stage. This will be interesting if they finish and actually use the nest. We’ll have a good view, since it’s a young tree, and the bushiest part of the tree is visible … right where that nest is being built.

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