Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tree Pruning

I love to write.  On bad days I sometimes trip over my maudlin outlook, and on those days I want to pour out my anguish.  I've learned on those days its sometimes best not to write or to write myself a letter, never meant to be mailed or even looked at by anyone but me.  On good days I want to share with everyone what I find so appealing in the written word.  It is a natural to me and I can find something to write about in every day, as a photographer wants to capture just the right light, I want to find that perfect word or phrase that lets everyone understand what I see, what I feel.  On the best days, it flows out of me like a spring stream, racing, roaring to life.  I have felt like the best days often of late.  Call it the no winter, winter we've been having and an early March day that speaks of 4 weeks down the road, but it is a day to write.

It is a day to write, but the outside called me, and a job of spring, tree pruning was staring me in the face.  We usually prune the four apple trees in our backyard, somewhere in early April, but the nice weather have allowed me to prune the one inside of our back fence a couple of days in a row the first week of March.  Much of the pruning is just cutting off the water sprouts, long, straight new branches that grow upward.  They don't branch but can grow 4 feet in one season.  They grow out of the bruised spots where larges branches were cut out to open up the tree.  Pruning out last season's water sprouts is a necessary chore every spring.  And there are always larger branches we have left from the year's before, waiting to see if we would shape the tree more.  I spent over three hours pruning the tree in the back yard.  My two dogs were more than happy to help me.  One chewed on the sticks I dropped, the other tried her darnedest to dig a hole in the grass under the fence.  My pruning saw became a good friend as the pile of larger limbs grew and my tree grew smaller.  I liked what I had done, even though the apple tree looked pretty bare when I finished.  Somehow, in the still raw days of  March there is something poetic and visual about seeing the silhouettes of trees pared down to their very extreme form.  Against the backdrop of our pond and the still wintry steel blue sky, they seemed to be waiting out the winter. 

Today is an Indian spring day if there is such a thing.  A warm, day a month early.  Blue skies and light winds and temperatures over 60 degrees.  Its a spring day before its officially spring.  And today I tackled the last three trees with Kurt's help.  He brought out the chain saw for a couple of good sized limbs that would have taken a sizable amount of sweat equity to saw through with the smaller pruning saw.  He also started up the tractor to load the big limbs into the scoop of the tractor and take them to back where he dumps them and uses them as brush cover for the deer.  I cut and we pruned, and he cut and we pruned.  After two and a half hours we had the trees cut down and pruned up.  The largest of the limbs were loaded and taken to the back.  And the smaller ones await raking and piling on the burn pile. 

Now I can find that few minutes to write.  But I think I did....I went out and I enjoyed the unseasonable warm the day gave me.  I reveled in colors, still winter brown but a blue sky that can only be seen and not described.  Spring creeps into our bones even though we know we have miles to go yet and weeks to be in winter mode.  But the first of my spring chores was done and I feel like writing...

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