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♫See the tree, how big it's grown....♫ - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
♫See the tree, how big it's grown....♫
Eleanor and I have both recently mentioned some trees we've planted and nurtured in our travels over the past 20-plus years.  I had an appointment in Rochester today that I needed to take a detour to, due to an accident or somesuch on the usual faster expressway route, and that took me close to our last home there, where I got to see a couple of our plantings from 20-plus years ago.


That's our first and last real house we bought and lived in back in Rochester, in the year before and the first two after Emily was born. The yard had some majestic cottonwoods in the back yard (one of each sex, with the resulting explosion of seeds every year), but the front was pretty bare, so we bought this guy, the pin oak seen above just to the side of the driveway, and planted him in honor of the child that was on the way.

We have tons of pictures from that era, but I couldn't find any showing that tree except this one, taken this month 20 years ago, a few weeks before we moved here. It's a little fuzzy, but it shows what that tree has done these past two decades:

July 1994

(No complaining, Emily; we have way more incriminating pictures- and videos- than that one;)


Not long before that 1994 picture was taken, Eleanor noticed that a small black walnut had self-seeded along the side wall of our garage, and she decided to move it to the other side of the front yard to give Emily's tree some company. We then named them both- Minnie and Max, after characters in a song by a folkie we'd grown fond of. That tree's done well in the 20 years since then, too:


I go by that house maybe once a year- never stopped in or saw anyone out front to thank for keeping Minnie and Max in good shape all these years. But it's quite endearing to see them.


When we got here, in August of '94, the yard was almost entirely barren. The original owner, who'd lived here until maybe a year before we got here, liked to putt, not putter, and he liked his greens nice and smooth. Over the years, Eleanor, mostly, selected the foliage to undo this generation of neglect- some professionally installed, some purchased, some moved from other parts of the yard (or neighbors' property) where trees self-seeded. The Russian olive in our back yard was one of the middle category; it came home from a lawn and garden store in the trunk of our '89 Chevy.

I don't think it'd fit anymore:


That, mind, is after we did some previous serious pruning of Comrade Tree a week or so ago (see remaining severed parts, foreground).


One tree, though, was entirely my idea, although I did an admirable job of staying away from it so Eleanor could nurture it away from the evil spirits in my black thumb. (I often comment that my WANTED picture is up on the wall at the Plant Post Office.) This one was a case of finding a need hole and filling it: Eleanor took down an old-style clothesline that had been limping along parallel to our western lot line, and I contributed to the ceremonial removal of the cement cast that had anchored it closest to the house. Somehow wanting to do SOMETHING to contribute to things around here, and remembering how nicely Emily's pin oak had come along, I drove over to the then hardware-garden division of Wegmans, picked one out, and stuck it in, first, my trunk and, then, the hole.

We named it Dave, in honor of Letterman's recent ascension to the hosting of the CBS Late Show. It's going on 20 years for both Daves, now, and ours may not be as funny, but he's a hell of a lot bigger:


Not the best angle, since there's not much to compare him to in the shot, but still. He's definitely among the Top Ten of anything we can see around here (and no, his name will not change to Stephen next year;)

So those are our log-acies. Two places, three decades, big things from small beginnings. Maybe even a part in a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel for them;)
2 comments or Leave a comment
greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: July 31st, 2014 06:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of the bittersweet things I'm having to deal with in this whole divorce mess - and I'm sure it's hard on Steven as well - was looking at the silver maple that we planted in the yard the year James was born. We bought it for me - a bit of NYC in SC since one grew in front of my childhood home in NYC - in 2002 as a 4 foot tall sapling. It flourished next to the deck, and is now about 20 feet tall. It makes me sad to think I won't be there to see it grow to full size and that it will be a constant, ever-visible reminder to Steven of what he lost.
tilia_tomentosa From: tilia_tomentosa Date: July 31st, 2014 11:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good job. :)
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