Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Scenes from my backyard (and front, to be fair) II

Embalmed leaves

If anybody can help me identify what the name of this tree is I will buy you a virtual drink. I can't remember what the leaves look like since they have all fallen off, but what stands out for me is the bark. At first I thought it was covered with fungus, but now I realize that that is how it's supposed to be (I hope to God it is, for the sake of the tree!). It is covered in what looks like stacks of misshapen coins. Normally I would look this up myself, but my field guide to trees mildewed while sitting in storage here and it smelled too bad to save, and I have yet to buy another one (one more innocent victim of the move, including many daddy long-legs that made the trip down in boxes).

A pseudo-graveyard, but the only thing really dead here is my will to want to walk through this area in the summertime, down by the creek, where vines of poison ivy cover the ground

Sweetgum balls, which give the tree an interesting profile in the winter. And that is about all the good I can say about them!

Holly and berries. I never realized that this evergreen tree didn't like growing in the North. It seems so northern!

One of the few Tennessee snowmen in existence today. Two minutes after building him he was already beginning to lean backwards.


The aforementioned stream. During the summer it was pretty dry and you could see most of the creek bed. My next-door neighbor has an irrigation pump thingy that sucks up the water for his grass, and I have a theory that he was contributing to our drought. I was going to take some of the stones from the bottom for my garden path in order to give it a natural look, but I had to wait for the autumn to arrive so that the poison ivy would die off. Go figure. It is now a slippery, deep, rushing river. I guess that's what husbands are for--to risk their lives for the sake of the beauty of the house.

3 comments:

Frances said...

Hi C. Moonflower, love your acerbic take on your surroundings. It sounds like you are still fighting where you happen to be on the earth for now. Also, before I forget, warning, the poison ivy vines still pack a wallop with no leaves, and you cannot tell them from the benign vines, so don't touch anything without gloves and then put the gloves and your whole outfit into the washer, the oil stays on things forever, only hot soapy water, or bleach will kill it. You have lots to work with there, are you making your design plans on paper for the coming spring? You will be surprised at how quickly you can start gardening, February for sure. Don't wait until May, it gets hot too quickly for the newly planted to get their roots going. Good luck and welcome to Tennessee!
Frances at Fairegarden

walk2write said...

C.M., you will learn to love that stream while avoiding the poison ivy vines. Your last pic says it all. Roots desperately hanging onto the bank but taking a sip nonetheless. Does your neighbor water a garden as well as a lawn? You may have a new friend.

Annie in Austin said...

Listen to Frances, Moonflower - and watch out for pets. Poison ivy affects primates not dogs or cats, but they can bring the toxin to you.

I wonder if your tree could be a a Sugarberry or Hackberry, genus Celtis. They have warty bark, although that one is extremely warty!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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