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From a Crab's Perspective

by Ann Ulrich Miller

Posted on June 16, 2010 by Web Dreams


The first half of June has zoomed by. Mother Nature has dominated my attention
since the last week in May, when we started planting seedling trees. We had to wait until the frost danger was past so the baby trees could have a chance to survive at this altitude of more than 7,000 feet.

Doug and I purchased 100 Ponderosa pine seedlings from a nursery in Michigan, and we sheltered about 10 additional young trees in my garage for about a month before we dared plant them. The red maples and aspen trees were leafed out when we bought them. So for a couple of weeks we were busy every day, digging holes, mixing dirt and manure, and planting more than a hundred trees.

After two weeks most of our Ponderosa pine seedlings are looking sad indeed. About 20 of the seedling trees look like they might have a chance to make it. The rest have turned brown and look dead. Doug lost two of his red maples and the larger one, which we call the "Annie tree" (because I gave it to him for his birthday) is struggling to survive. My red maple is also struggling. It's possible we overwatered. Half our aspens are doing well. All in all, our experiment with planting trees seems to have failed, for the most part.

Today was our day to clean up our yards. Doug's yard required lawn mowing and weed eating... the first manicure it's had since he's lived there. He put into action his new electric Black & Decker weed eater while I cranked up my self-propelled lawn mower and groomed wherever I could. After four or five hours, the yard has been transformed. His yard now looks better than my own!

We have enjoyed constructing Indian gardens in both our back yards. We began with Doug's, a 10 ft. diameter circle that had to be perfectly drawn and a compass used to mark true north and south (obviously the mark of a true sailor!). Then Doug wanted to place rocks at the corners of the four directions. It took us five days to dig out his circle because we hit so many rocks. We put every single rock and pebble back into the perimeter of his Indian garden, and I must say, it looks impressive.

When we got around to digging my Indian garden, I wasn't as particular as Doug. For one thing, we uncovered only a couple dozen rocks out of my dirt. The digging was a whole lot easier, and we were done in one afternoon. I didn't care about how precisely my rock perimeter was either. Both our gardens are planted now and we only hope we get some good tomatoes out of them before the short season ends.

Working with Mother Earth is such a rewarding experience. I just love getting outside when the weather is pleasant and sunny, and working with the earth and all its beauty. There is a bird haven in my backyard, beside the grove of large Ponderosa pine trees, and the doves, the Stellar jays and the magpies all holler when my black cat, Jessica, is in the vicinity. I'd much rather be out doing this kind of work than cooped up inside at the computer. That's what evenings are good for. Doug likes to sit at home in front of his television, enjoying his solitude, and I take advantage of the "down time" to do my work.

The next morning the sun comes out and we begin our new day. All is well on Sundown Circle as we rush ahead toward July.

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