Category Archives: Trees

Ups and Downs

Great excitement in the front yard. Linc came back for a visit. Who is Linc? If you haven’t met Lincoln the young rascal, you can visit the two blog posts with the links (unavoidable pun) below. Linc doesn’t sit still very long and he’s awfully lippy, scolding me the whole time as I tried to get his picture. He wouldn’t let me get very close so he looks fuzzier than he is in real life, due to being zoomed in on before he zoomed off.

Here are the links of his previous visits.

https://wordsfromanneli.com/2017/06/26/lincoln-the-delinquent/

https://wordsfromanneli.com/2018/07/20/linc-is-back/

Sitting under a Douglas fir, Linc contemplates his find.

The hazelnuts from the nearby trees are nearly ripe. Linc checks out the best way to get into the nut.

He savours the flavour.

Best to find a safer place to eat this.

“Oops! There’s Anneli. I’d better run around to the back of the tree.”

“I didn’t intend to go up that high. Getting dizzy!”

“Eek! I’d better put on the brakes before I do a somersault.”

“On second thought, I’m safer up here. The sky’s the limit.”

Lincoln, having made a find

Struggles to make up his mind,

Up the tree and down the tree,

From up top you sure can see.

There’s a lady down below

Hoping for a picture show.

“What about the nut I’ve found

By the tree down on the ground?

Surely she won’t want it back,

It was very hard to crack.

She has plenty in  her yard,

And for me the winter’s hard.

I don’t think she’s mad at me

Fallen hazelnuts are free 

Just in case though, I will run

Way up high towards the sun.

I will scamper up this tree.

Hide beneath its canopy.

Then I’ll chatter and I’ll scold

And she’ll know that I am bold.

She will write another post

‘Bout the squirrel she loves the most.”

Tenting

In this summer of wildfires, the only ones doing any tenting are the caterpillars.

In my front yard is a black walnut tree that the Captain and I planted when it was no more than a six-foot high stick. Twenty-six years later it is a tall tree, desperately reaching for the sky as the leylandi cypress beside it crowds it more every year.

But see who is camping in the walnut tree! With all the warnings about camping being banned in so many places, these tenters have invaded my yard AGAIN! They attacked the apple trees in the early spring. Then they came back to take up residence in  the walnut tree (the kind that has walnuts) in the backyard, and now they are taking up residence in the ornamental black walnut in the front yard. They’re getting smarter too. This time they are much higher and out of my reach.


Here is a closer look.

And an even closer look. You can see that many of the leaves have already been eaten. I looked up tent caterpillars and found out that these are most likely the larvae of the malacosoma moth. I don’t think I like moths anymore.

Guess I’ll have to call the fire department to come and get this tent out of the tree. They have high ladders and brave men, but oh, hold on — they’re all busy fighting wildfires just now. I’ll have to see if I can find a good Samaritan to help me out.

Do you have these unwanted guests tenting in your yard too?

Top-heavy

So that’s what corn on the cob looks like when it’s growing. A child might think that’s what it is.

You may remember my recent post about the Colorado blue spruce. In that one, I compared the cones to candles standing on a Christmas tree. With our recent sun and rain, the cones on this spruce have grown quickly and are having trouble supporting their own weight.

I wonder if they will eventually hang down the way  cones on so many other evergreens do. I can see that I’ll have to do a followup post whenever that happens.

All Spruced Up

Did you know that the Colorado Blue Spruce is the state tree of Colorado? I did not know that, but it doesn’t surprise me one bit. This tree is amazing on so many levels. It is tough and prickly, and in the plant world, that spells survival.

Have you ever tried to touch one, or pull on it? Ouch! The Latin name “Picea pungens,” means a spruce (or type of pine) that is prickly, puncturing, or stinging. Just touch one and you’ll see what I mean.

They make a great wind break when planted as a hedge and they tolerate cold temperatures. They are listed as a Zone 2 plant, which allows for very cold weather. No wonder Colorado likes it.

The Colorado spruce in this photo is actually in my neighbours’ yard. I zoomed in on it when I noticed its beautiful cones standing tall like  candles on an old-fashioned Christmas tree, or many levels of lights on a chandelier.

Just slightly off topic is the background of the photo. You are looking at the sandy bottom of Comox Bay at low tide. Only a small streak of blue crosses it and that is the river coming out into the bay. A few hours later, that whole sandy area will be covered with water when the tide comes in. If not for the river, the tide, and the gooey sand a person might be tempted to walk across to the other side.

Wear a bathing suit, as you might have to swim back.

More “Snow”

As one of our bloggers mentioned in the last post, there is another kind of snow lying around these days. I found some just down the street. I believe this huge tree is a cottonwood or its relative, a grey poplar. Its  fuzz-covered seeds now fill the air and lie on the sides of the road, looking like real snow.

DSCN0147

The black cottonwood that I’ve seen in Montana has darker bark, and leaves that are more rounded than those of this tree. This is why I wondered about it being a grey poplar instead, although they are still related.

The fluffy bits are like cotton balls, and maybe this is where the cottonwood got its name.

DSCN0148

I’m so glad this snow will eventually blow away and that we don’t have to shovel it. Quite possibly it makes good fluff for lining a bird’s nest.

Do you have any fake snow where you live?

The Dogwood

For some reason, this is a good year for the dogwood. Local dogwoods are in fine form. Even the little one in our yard is blooming prolifically.

It is the provincial floral emblem of British Columbia.

The Dogwood Speaks Out

 

One day I could be forty-five,

That’s feet in height, I mean.

My flowers are a velvet white

With just a hint of green.

 

Their petals number four to six,

But never all the same, 

And now I’m sure you’re wondering,

“How did it get that name?”

 

In Sanskrit, I am named for “dag,”

Which happens to be “skewer,”

But changing “dag” to “dog” makes sense,

And questions asked are fewer.

 

The berries on my flowers feed

An awful lot of birds,

And deer who want to browse my twigs

Keep munching them in herds.

 

The bears and beavers eat my leaves,

Perhaps they think I’m salad.

Then satisfied, they amble on, 

They burp and sing a ballad.

 

For tanning agents and for dyes,

My bark is useful too.

The Salish and the Thompsons somehow

Knew just what to do.

 

The Cowichans made knitting needles

From my solid wood.

They knitted sweaters with designs

As often as they could.

 

I’m useful and I’m beautiful,

I’m really quite a tree,

For B.C.’s floral emblem

They’ve officially chosen me.

 

Water on Three Sides

What are you looking at here? Let me help you get your bearings.

The hills in the distance, and beyond them the mountains you can’t see because of the low cloud cover, are on the mainland of British Columbia, just north of Vancouver. I am standing on Vancouver Island. You can deduce from that, that the city of Vancouver is not on Vancouver Island. In this photo we are looking to the east.

I’ve climbed up a hill a little way and am now looking to the south. You can see a spit of land that reaches out from the land’s end. The spit has been formed by a gazillion years of wave action swishing the sand along and dropping it to form a giant finger of sand. All the land you can see in this photo, including the mountains, is on Vancouver Island.

Looking to the west, you can see the sheltered water on the inside of the spit, and the harbour of Comox in the distance. Those toothpicks sticking up are the masts and trolling poles of fishing boats and sailboats in the marina. The two boats at anchor in the foreground are getting free moorage.

A few weeks ago, the Captain and I went for a walk that took us to the inside of the sheltered bay. You can see part of the spit in the distance on the far right horizon.

On the way to the trail we noticed the run-off from the excessive amount of rain we’d had. This is not a year-round creek, but a temporary run-off creek. I feel sorry for the large tree that has its feet in water, day and night. It may soon go the way of the broken off tree trunk in the photo below this one.

It may be broken off, but this tree is still serving a useful purpose. It is making many birds happy. Nuthatches and woodpeckers will make holes in the trees to nest in,  and the bugs they find in the trunk help give them strength to continue their work and to feed their babies.

Farther along, we came to the boardwalk. I love this scene. You see the run-off creek completing the water cycle as it brings the rainwater back to the sea. It’s great to have the boardwalk and not have to wade through the creek.

The trees along the water are mostly deciduous types. They are probably cottonwoods and a few poplar or alder types mixed in. My guess is they are cottonwoods because those grow taller than the others, and these are a good size.

Even in the cool weather, you can have a great day going for a walk around your neighbourhood.