creeaak!

 

Our farm buildings are nestled in the protective elbow of the grove, my personal woodland. A variety of trees shield us from the blast of winter’s northwest winds. Along outer L-shaped perimeter stand two rows of blue spruce, planted early in our marriage; mountain trees for this Colorado girl transplanted to prairie. Now the rows are closed to lawnmowers and snow shoers.

Inside the west crook, reside old ash and gnarly box elder, here long before my husband’s parents bought the farm site. Random maple, scattered throughout, blaze in autumn’s golden glory. Near the road, three small birch wave at passers-by. A few more spruce shelter the apple orchard, now consisting of two prodigious trees, we planted by our driveway.

On the north, two straight rows of ash, summit and bergesen, join hands high to form a long leaf-adorned aisle where migrating monarchs flit in early fall. Next to these, six red oak raise their proud heads and stubbornly hang onto dead leaves until next spring.

Sadly, severe weather, disease, or insect pests eventually claim even the best of our trees. Walk past an old dead tree on a windy day and hear the creaking. Better to get chainsaw out before it falls where we don’t want it to. Its wood will warm us in winter and we are grateful.

 

young saplings attend
but cannot stop life cycle
dryad’s dying scream

 

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photo by lynn

 

 

love like blue mounds state park

 
rose quartzite cliff first beckons, then

bewilders inexperienced rock climber

 
merry wren on fencepost sings counter-

melody to deeper tones of brown thrasher

 
tall cottonwood and strong gnarly oak

together shelter and shade young nesters

 
gathering clouds on horizon bend to kiss

soft sloping shoulder of open prairie

 
Jupiter pulls Venus into closer orbit

two planets dance as only stars in sky