first day of winter

I woke up this morning and discovered I was still here. The dog, too. He had his breakfast, we went on our walk, saw no one, and I began to wonder….So I went to the bank, and there were people there. What a relief. I could go back home, and do some gardening.

The gardening I was planning to do took the form of sawing, and I still couldn’t help wondering what kind of mindless weirdo believes in this end-of-the-world stuff, when that little, teeny tiny rational part of my brain, that part not much larger than a pinhead, said to the rest of me “What kind of mindless weirdo grows dead plants?”

This is, or was, an Amur maple, Acer ginnala. All of the main trunks are completely dead. As is evident, it takes up a considerable amount of space in the little shade garden on the north side of the house. It’s been dead for several years. Why is it still here?


I suspect it was struck by lightning; the spiral gash is, as they say, a sign.


Then, moving to the northeast corner of the yard, a disgraceful mess of dead chokecherries. Live chokecherries are bad enough–the birds eat the berries and leave bright purple poops all over the flagstone–but are dead ones an improvement?

(The little tree that’s wrapped is Crataegus coccinioides, destined to replace this mess.)


Now over in the other corner, the southwest one, is a large tree-like shrub, the New Mexican locust, Robinia neomexicana. This has been dead for over ten years. New locusts have sprung up near it, but the dead one is extremely noticeable, especially in the summer when everything else around it has leaves.


I sometimes pretend it’s not in my yard, since it’s an effort to get back to the area in which it’s growing. I have all my extra wood organized there. I have a collection of old pallets that “might be worth something someday”.


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2 Responses to first day of winter

  1. Pam says:

    I really like the picture with the 2 chairs, Bob. Glad I found your blog this year – hope the holidays go well for you!

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