“The way get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” ~ Walt Disney
The photo doesn’t remotely convey the size of this bur oak (although that’s a three-story house so, that might help for scale). Last week’s rehearsal took place during daylight hours and I was able to get a good look at it. Arborists have estimated the tree to be between 150-300 years old. That’s not unusual for a bur oak as they can live to be hundreds of years old, and grow up to 100 feet tall. This tree’s limbs are trimmed often to prevent them from falling into the house. It’s also been struck by lightning and still bears the scar. It’s amazing that it survived, really. It even had a groundhog living in it’s base for some time. Stacy and I were talking about bur oaks at dinner. She reckons Kentucky should make the bur oak our state tree. I can’t disagree. The old ones are especially impressive to say the least. According to UK’s Ag site, bur oaks grow well here in the Bluegrass. In fact, the “champion” bur oak is in neighboring Bourbon County. The site doesn’t say exactly what qualifies it as a champion, unfortunately. Champion or not, I love a bur oak. I guess that makes me a bonafide tree hugger. I’m good with that.
It was an unseasonably warm day. I came home before the sun was down and spent some time outside with Wally. That’s when I saw it. Do you see it? Mistletoe is a parasite. It can kill its host tree. It usually doesn’t, but it can sure stunt growth. I don’t think I ever noticed mistletoe until Angie pointed it out to me when I was living in Oklahoma many years ago. Naturally, I started seeing it everywhere after that, and I still do. I don’t see it very often in city trees, though, and it doesn’t seem quite as prevalent in Kentucky as it is in Oklahoma (I’m not an arborist and mine is a very unscientific study, not that you thought otherwise). The photo below shows two bunches of it. I like the idea of mistletoe – and who doesn’t love a green sprig of it over the Christmas doorway – but I’m not entirely pleased to find it in an adjoining neighbor’s tree. It’s now close enough to my fruit trees to take up residence. On the other hand, I’d have my own holiday supply. I’ll let you know if I go into the mistletoe business.
California had some of the most interesting trees I’ve seen. I’m not sure what this tree is, but I was mesmerized standing under it. The intricacies of the limbs and trunks and leaves weaving a beautiful shade. Life is a lot like this tree, weaving intricate patterns that ultimately make a beautiful shade for us to stand in.
Remember the post from two days ago and Sunken City when I mentioned that parts of Point Firman had sank too? Driving from our lookout near that overlook to Point Firman felt a lot further than it actually was. When I took this shot I felt I’d seen this tree before. I had. It’s the point between Sunken City and Point Firman. That drive was deceptive because they’re really very, very close (and, yea, that’s Long Beach in the background with tops of mountains peeking through). Plus, I think it’s hysterically funny that these grown men climbed this little tree. Never grow up completely. It takes all the fun out of life if you do.
Some of the trees high in the Pisgah Forest of North Carolina are weighed down in lichen and moss. It’s a moss that looks like the short, green cousin of Spanish Moss in the Southern states of the U.S. It’s easy to see in the fall when the leaves are off and the rain heavy clouds drape the mountain tops in mist. I tried to take a walk this morning to get a closer look, but those rain heavy clouds unloaded on me, and my excursion was short lived. I’ll say this though, if I ever have the chance to have a home in the mountains, I may never be heard from again. Beauty and peace beyond words in these high places.
Mom and dad wanted a short time away in North Carolina, so they enlisted the help of a chauffeur; me. Despite the less than stellar weather, it was a beautiful drive (though much longer than we anticipated). We stopped at an overlook in Virginia where I snapped one tall tree against another. The older I get, the more I value my time with my folks. There will come a time, sooner rather than later, when they’re no longer able to travel. I’m grateful to be able to take them as long as they want to go…but there won’t be another trip as long as this one, I’m pretty sure of that. We’ve learned our milage limit with this one – ha!
The 2 Pony Ranch is a special place for me and many others. The sign ushering visitors into the ranch is one of my favorite sights. I’m just going to leave this photo here to enjoy.
Last night, as the full worm moon was rising, I walked outside for a few shots. The sky was beautiful. The surroundings glowed. The snow and stars twinkled like a mirror images. My home looked so warm and inviting from the outside. That must be one reason why I enjoy it so much. I wish I could have gotten out to the country for some evening shots, but I’m awfully grateful to get what I got.
I don’t think the second of March will ever pass again that I don’t feel a hole in my heart. Here we are, three years after the F-3, and to me, it feels like it just happened. There are some days I just ache for my grandmother’s home, my home, and my hometown. I miss them as if they were people, not things, but living, breathing human beings. The town; she’s so very slow to come back. What little has cropped up feels devoid of character somehow. It’s not as if West Liberty was a picture postcard town before the tornado, it wasn’t, but it did have that small town, all-American Mayberry something about it. Main Street was lined with a mix of stone and wood buildings, shutters and porches and worn flat sidewalks and people. There were homes, real homes, dotting the landscape, each different in color and texture and more people. I feel like I won the lottery growing up in that little town. We left for Arizona for a time, but all I ever wanted was to go back. It’s where I knew I belonged. A place and its people – those people at the time of my growing – were a mighty force. It wasn’t all perfect, but it was perfect for me. I suppose I will always yearn for the West Liberty I understood, and for as long as I live, I will be grateful for what I had there for as long as I had it, warts and all.