last Friday was a gorgeously sunny day. I woke with a strong urge to get some new camera angle shots of the white pine that serves as a directional sentry/guardian tree of this Place. There she is rising above all the others. Her crown's full glory partially concealed by a fringe of brick red oak leaves. Had to stand on the edge of my neighbor's lawn across the street in order to get a shot that will let me examine/draw the places where her trunk splits three ways.
Here she is at closer range; framed in part by the Norwegian Fir that thrives beside her. These two trees form the beginning of a property line that's otherwise consumed by a row of hemlocks. We presume they were planted when the house was built which would make them 43 years old. In front of the property line a volunteer windrow has developed. Three quarters of the trees are white pine/descendants of our sentry pictured above.
If you focus just beyond the brick red oak leaves you'll find yourself gazing at dozens of young evergreen trees. In addition to taking pictures for this post, I wanted some reference photos that will help me understand both the intentional and co-creatively engineered impact us living here has had upon the landscape.
I took this picture the first afternoon we were here. Orientation-wise, I'm sitting with J. in the place where the wild windrow now exists. Am including it here because its serves as a useful comparative reference for several of the other pictures in this post. Note, especially, the Hemlock that's been perfectly buzzcut into a graceful mound. It's directly behind the rainbow whatever kinda co-creative emissary that met us on the field that afternoon. As we soaked in the landscape's acceptance of us J. and I agreed we'd stop cutting the shallow amphitheater of curved ground where we were sitting. He predicted the white pine had many children just waiting for a chance to do more than get mowed down. I looked around while he talked; silently planning which trees to prune and which to let go crazy wild on their own impulse. Again: notice the hemlock. Here is the same hemlock last Friday. From this angle, the post's featured white pine at the top of the field seems slightly smaller but that's illusory for sure. Stay tuned for more insights about the hemlocks in a later post. For now the point is that on the afternoon when I took the previous picture I was staring at the hemlock's contained demeanor thinking it was a human-driven illusion that I find particularly perplexing. J. was talking with great conviction - to and about the white pines that did indeed spring forth over the course of that first summer. And so it seemed closer to fact than his opinion: the miniscule evergreens understood they were loved and given strong value as soon as we sat there allowing them to whisper to us. All the trees understood. And together we rejoiced on that sunny mid-May afternoon. Now it's nearly November. And this is what the field looks like after ten attentive and yet oftentimes largely hands-off growing seasons. On the day I took these pictures I also picked spearmint to combine with half of last year's remaining calendula flowers. This duet infused in olive oil is my favorite all purpose skin oil. I used to make it in a crock pot which can get fiddly to prevent scorching. Nowadays I prepare much smaller batches in a double boiler placed on the warming burner of my stove. Note the dense exuberance of the property line hemlocks. Also sharp eyes may notice the widow maker hanging from empty maple limbs that are still attached. Am hoping it came down in the hard rains night before last and all of yesterday but haven't been out to check yet.
Here's the windrow from the front. Also our lovely natural fire pit in the foreground. This year a young colony of mugwort set root at the lip of the pit. I prepared the Healing Lights essence blend along the inner slope of the left breast. All around this granite wonderment there are colonies of prunella, st. johnswort, red clover, wild daisies and a deliciously luminous light violet species of wild orchid I'm reluctant to demystify by properly identifying them.