Category Archives: Trees

The Holly and the Maple

No, it’s not “The Holly and the Ivy,” but close enough. I noticed that the maple’s leaves got hung up on the holly tree below it, and the muse tickled the keyboard once again.

The maple sheds a coat that weaves

And floats towards the ground,

Hanging up on prickly leaves

Of holly all around.

 

The holly says, “I thank you, dear,

I’m shivering with cold.

When winter nights are chill and clear

Your leaves my warmth will hold.

 

And decorated, too, am I

Just like a Christmas tree.

My berries red will catch the eye

And all will look at me.

 

But you, dear maple, what of you?

Your scrawny arms are chill.

There’s nothing more that you can do.

So pray for you, I will.

 

Be steadfast through the winter gale,

Be tough as you can be,

Till new green leaves your arms regale

With pride and majesty.”

 

 

 

 

Redheads

“Yikes!” This guy was caught red-handed – well, maybe more like red-headed – vandalizing the maple tree. Just look at the holes he’s put into the bark! I guess they make great toeholds for him.

Who would think there is something inside that bark that makes it so enticing for him?

“Hold on,” he says. “I think I can hear something wiggling around in there.”

“Mmyeahhhh … worth having a poke around.”

“There he is! I can feel him in there. Tasty little morsel … if I can only get him out of there. I’ll follow it up with a slurp of syrup from the sap.”

“Yum! That was good, but what a lot of work for a snack. Gotta take a breather for a sec.”

“What’s that you say?” He’s shocked that I’ve questioned him. “Holes in the bark? So what? There’s tons of them. What’s one more?”

“But don’t you see that if you keep going around in a circle you’ll soon ring the tree?”

“So…?

“Well, the sap has to go up and down the tree to keep it alive.”

“But I’m a sapsucker. Duh! It’s what I do!”

“I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I held so still for her when I saw she had her camera.  But enough is enough.”

“I’ll pose for this one last picture and then I’m off. I can always come back later, when her arm gets tired, or her eyes hurt from squinting against the sun, or – hee hee – when her battery dies. All that zooming really eats batteries. 

Now. Where was I? Oh yes, continuing on this line of holes my buddies and I were working on last week.”

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.