april 23, 2019

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“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living, the other helps you make a life.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

 

TIMBER!

 

Anthony and the Git ‘Er Done boys returned today to take down the rotten tree out front (below). Folks who’ve followed me on facebook over the years have heard me talk – curse is more like it – about a neighbor I’ve nicknamed “Chainsaw Charlie” due to his incessant need to cut firewood in his driveway with a bloody chainsaw at all hours of the day and night. Thus, it came as no surprise when I came home at lunch today to find him mingling with the guys, particularly keen to talk to the cool dude with the chainsaw (I’ve learned his name is Chris Davidson, by the way). I was silently hoping Chris wasn’t giving him pointers or telling him where to buy such a big chainsaw. That’s all I need. Bigger logs that take longer to cut even with a big chainsaw. I want to like the guy, I really do, but he needs to go live in the country where he can saw trees till he’s blue and let every wild thing in the country grow up his fence like he’s letting grow up mine. Clearly, after twelve years of this, I am no closer to seeing that day. So, instead, I will tend to my piece of heaven and prepare to plant twice as many trees I am I taking down. That’s what I did when I moved in. I took down three trees and planted eleven. I don’t think I’ll plant eleven this time, but I will certainly replenish Mother Nature’s bounty with something I can manage into my old age. 

 

time to go

april 22, 2019

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“When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘we’ even illness becomes wellness.” ~ Malcolm X

 

seriously awesome

 

The remodeling has at last begun. It starts outside with the removal of three very mature trees. As much as I hate to take them down – I’ve put it off for twelve years – two are dead/dying and this water maple stands in the way of running a power line to a mast (part of the remodel). Plus, it’s far too close to the house. If you’ve ever seen the damage a tornado can do, then you probably shudder when you see trees too close to a building. In any case, I’ve been looking for a reasonable company for a few years to do this work. Julie Smoak recommended Anthony Conrad (below far left) and his company “Git ‘Er Done Tree Service.” Now, I ask you, how could I not love a company with that name? When I met Anthony he was everything Julie said he was; sweet, kind, communicative (a rarity for services of just about any kind), and as a bonus, reasonably priced. He brought his crew today to start this big job. I was home, standing in the safety of my kitchen doorway, cameras in hand. It was amazing to watch. Without incident, they took down an enormous 60ft tree that was over the house and the garage. Dad used to fell trees with his friend Larry Lacy, so it’s always been interesting to watch, but I got some nice snaps of Anthony and his crew. Chainsaw dude: I don’t know his name but he is all that. He did an incredible job making the right cuts, and when he wasn’t cutting, he was smiling. Guys that cut trees have a really dangerous, seriously hard job that often goes unappreciated. These poor guys were all hacking their heads off from the pollen before they even started. It’s just a super dangerous job for a lot of reasons, so I try to keep in mind why they charge as much as they do. They earn it. If you find a good tree cutter, share their name with your friends because they’re worth their weight in gold. My guy’s name is Anthony Conrad and Git ‘er Done Tree Service. Thank you for the recommendation, Julie, and thank you, Anthony, for being as awesome as your reputation said you were. 

 

the crew

april 1, 2019

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“The reason life works at all is because not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day.” ~ Anne Lamott

 

king tree

 

I know mistletoe is a parasite to trees, but in winter when there are no leaves to obscure the view, the mistletoe balls are like decorations. It’s mesmerizing. It also didn’t hurt that the sky was totally awesome last Saturday. This sky was still hours from splitting open, letting the heavens rain down buckets of cold water. What an interesting day that was.

march 23, 2018

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“When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?” ~ Ralph Marston

 

great grandfather

 

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.

 

spring

february 20, 2018

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“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” ~ Zen Shin

 

no kissing here

 

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. 

 

two batches

november 2, 2016

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“I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else.
I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.”
~ Ken Venturi

 

the weave
the weave

 

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.

october 28, 2016

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“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”
~ Lucille Ball

 

oh, go climb a tree!
oh, go climb a tree!

 

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.

 

silly fun
silly fun

november 30, 2015

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“Your attitude really does have an effect on how things work out. When you can’t change your life any other way, you can still change your attitude. When you do, your life changes.” ~ Bernie Siegel

 

dreary
dreary

 

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.

 

water only flows this way once
water only flows this way once

november 28, 2015

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“Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.” ~ Unknown

 

walking tall
walking tall

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!

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