Birdsfoot Trefoil

~~~  For my friend, D.F.  ~~~

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This is the BIRDSFOOT TREFOIL flower that you saw here at Balsamea. TREFOIL means “plant with three leaves.”

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Oak Tree Trilogy Part 1 – Sentinel Oak

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Sentinel Oak with The Balsamean’s head in the lower branches to be removed soon. Remove the branches, not the head.

In 2005, the birth year of Balsamea, my father asked if there were any oak trees on the property.  I had not seen them.  Over time, I learned that there were many red oaks.  They are one of our minority trees, but the mature ones number about one per acre, and there are dozens of seedlings and saplings.  We would have many more oaks, were it not for the deer munching on their buds every winter.  I have seen them kill a 3-foot healthy oak in two seasons.

On that day in May 2005 when I closed on the property purchase, I immediately installed a cable gate across the entrance.  Dumpers had abused the property, a practice that ended that day, and became a considerable process of remediation for me.  Still I find things resurfacing from below ground.

While opening space for access to the right trees to attach the cable, I noticed two little red oaks about two feet tall each.  One was in excellent condition.  The other was crushed under a fallen gray birch.  I left the latter alone to grow in its own way, and it has done well.  The former, I nursed and lightly pruned over the years, to encourage a nice geometric shape.

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Nibbles of Balsamea

These little Balsameans (and Adirondack natives) have gathered here for no reason but to please The Balsamean.  Maybe you’ll enjoy it, too.  This is one case where clicking a picture will NOT get you a bigger view.  They are just sample 100-pixel views of SOME of the kinds of spring and summer living entertainment here.  (However, you can magnify with your browser or Windows features.)  These pix were clipped out of bigger ones that are even more beautiful, shot over the past several years, mostly within the past few years.  This show must go on, and it will.  These little Balsameans will perform for as long as we let them and protect them.  The display sequence is random, and will change every time you refresh the page or come back for another visit.  There are about 130 of them.  (All photos by yours truly at Balsamea.)

End of show

9/11/12: First Frost is ICE!

Despite the sobering remembrances of another 9/11, I’ve declared 9/11/12 a holiday at Balsamea, in honor of our first frost coming four days earlier than the average (9/15) AND it was not merely FROST, but ICE!  I had a zillion tiny puddles of ICE on the roof of the car at 7 AM (in the shade).  Solid enough that I could not move them without considerable force.

Every year I look forward to First Frost day as the launch of my favorite time of year: from now to the end of December, and often all the way to February.

So despite all the effort going into multiple drafts of deeper posts pending here and elsewhere, among a thousand other things life wants me to do for myself, I had to drop everything and say YAY FOR FIRST FROST DAY!!!

One of the ways I celebrated was with a little campfire until 8 AM.  One of life’s greatest gifts is the pleasure of feeding a little fire on a chilly morning as the sun reaches the point where it sends rays zapping at hard angles through the trees, catching your campfire smoke in dazzling arrays.  Didn’t have the camera with me this morning, but there’s one from another time if I can find it.