'Bring It On Home'
With a Bit O' Blarney
it (if you
can't make it!)
creative mind plays with the objects it loves..... (carl
this grey, rainy, end of Winter day in March...I'm sitting at my desk
looking out the bay windows that face the front property. I notice the
ground is moving...under the newly grown green of the fresh virgin grass
and wild flowers that are always the first to pop their heads up--the
brown earth seems to be alive, like a dog with itchy skin....I don my
binoculars for a closer look.
are dozens of varieties of finches, wrens, towhees, titmouse, flycatcher,
kinglets, chickadee, shrike, 3 types of woodpeckers, blue jays
galore, mockingbirds, cardinals, a family of squirrels...a bunny or
I see the prints of the deer that
come in the wee hours, and a smattering of others all in their winter
attire, grays with yellows spots on the tails or breast, all fluffed
against the rain...
are cut logs hanging amongst the clusters of the "Popcorn Tree"
filled with suet for the birds just desserts. We took small 4" tree
trunks and cut them into 12-16 ' lengths. Drilled 1' and 1/8" holes-
one for a stick perch , the other for the suet, scattered around the log,
screwed in a hanger and strung it up in the limbs for a natural addition
to what mother nature has to offer.
I have a winged wonderland that
even the dogs stop and watch in silent amazement...
They are busy busy busy...eating
everything in sight, from what the trees have to offer to what I have
managed to scrape together in the form of a variety of feeders for seed
and suet. We fell upon this smorgasbord quite by accident, but I have
learned from nature, just what everyone's tastes are....
I plot a plan in my head to expand on what nature has provided.....the
Popcorn tree for one - what we grew up calling it - other wise known
as Sapium sebiferum, the Chinese Tallow Tree. To plan for this tree
takes an eye for the future...it's very invasive and grows from runners as
well as the dropped seeds, yet when controlled, it's a joy to have
mixed in with your garden and landscaping. The summer brings an umbrella
of green shelter, autumn a blaze of burgundy red, spring the tendrils of
fragrant sweetness. But it is now, at winters end that we
see the tree in a skeletal version filled with
clusters of seeds that resemble those sweet popcorn balls of my
Much to the pleasure of these birds
I'm watching now. The popcorn tree is absolutely considered a noxious weed
by everyone BUT the birds. I have found ways to incorporate it into many
of my gardens. It's easy to shape and stunt for a large Bonsai type of
tree in a smaller garden...
makes a great canopy in the heat of summer. In spring, use caution
and plenty of allergy spray...the flowering fingers that sprout, shoot out
dust just like pines do. This tree, in me, has inspired a play ground.
down those honey suckle vines, or trim up those grape vines to transplant
or ready for new growth. With the cuttings, freshen up or make new
wreaths. You can also bring them indoors to add new life to an old curtain
rod, hang to drape over the bathroom mirror or kitchen window. Vines have
a multitude of uses!!!! Experiment!!!
Now is the time to start cleaning up
all that dead wood winter's storms have cleared and left behind. While
you're meandering around in the snow or misty grey days, look at what is
there. You can get the vision while everything is still naked from
winter. It's a blank palette, a giant coloring book - your mind can
add in the colors, shapes, textures you wan to see throughout the year.
Planning for nature takes an open
mind. It never ends up like it looks on paper. It's the surprises that are
the most pleasing. It's the time when it's still safe to go out and
dig up those plants you had admired as they bloomed and want to add to a
garden. Transplanting, moving, rearranging - that's the mood of
March!!! Blow out the old...as the new enters on the breeze.
With the March winds blow in bits of
imagination for the seasons to come...
LOVE to throw out that stuffy old chair and the stuffy old man sleeping in
it all winter!
You'd LOVE to burn all that dried out
greenery still hanging around the corners, (hidden from view) of the porch
and over wintered gardens.
You'd LOVE to be able to see out of
those grayed and speckled windows but you can't get thru the mud or snow
drifts to get at them.
You'd LOVE to have something -
ANYTHING -fresh in the house, to remind you that there are living
molecules in this world and yours!!!!
The month of hope...of
dreams... So don't mope - just scheme! And follow me into my
boggy wooded wonder land!!!!
C'mon! Don those hip boots,
and camo' gloves! Grab that vest and lets go hunting!!!
PUT THAT GUN DOWN!!!! Plant
hunting that is!!! sheesh!
There's more than gold at the
end of that rainbow!!!!
those that love us, love us;
and those that don't love us,
may God turn their hearts,
and if He doesn't turn their hearts,
may He turn their ankles
so we'll know them
by their limping.
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