Sunday, September 9, 2012

Large oak near the Lutheran Church and playground
Looking back over my posts I realize I make it seem too wonderful up here in the North.  Truthfully it is no more or less wonderful than it is down South.  It just depends on your attitude.  But, I have concluded that they have come to appreciate some things that I also appreciate and I make a special note of those things

One of those things is their appreciation of trees up here in the village.  The oak photo shows an impressive huge specimen in a large field next to our favorite playground, all belonging to the Lutheran Church.
Utility wire & pole co-exiting with tree

 The next picture shows how the trees are allowed to grow around the utility lines (phone and electric).  This is something we would never see at home.  Our local electric utility (full disclosure:they pay our pension) hacks trees into unmentionable and unnatural  shapes.  It would often be kinder to cut them down completely, at least visually more humane.

Maples lining the drive

How do they get away with not doing it here?  I also heard a local pastor say that in order to cut a tree between the road and the sidewalks, you had to get a permit and pay a ten dollar per tree fee.  I guess the long and short of it is that people here have demanded that the trees be protected and the local government enforces the wishes of the locals.  Back home I think the utility companies have demanded and the people have not protested, and the government protects the utilities.   In the South it seems that we like to make a protest after the fact and carry on about government intervention, but we aren't too good at thinking about what we ultimately want.  Intentionality is one of our means of protecting ourselves against poor planning. What kind of outcome do you want in the future?  Maybe I am just sensitive to this because I work with plants a lot.  Trees take a long time to grow.  If you mess them up, you aren't going to be able to "fix them" very well.  You can't run down to WalMart and buy a new fifty year old tree on sale next spring, or Lowe's or Home Depot.  It just make sense to be a little more protective and careful with some things.  Trees are renewable, but they aren't easily and comparatively replaceable.
Polly's grave marker
The row of maples lining the drive is in one of the  local cemeteries.  I have found three local cemeteries within easy strolling distance here.  The maples line the road that drives through the center of one of the cemeteries. In a different cemetery, the grave headstone pictured gives the birth date of Polly as April 10, 1776.  I think there were older markers there, but they were difficult to read.  Maybe I will try to make some rubbings to see if I can decipher the dates.  The cemetery with this marker is near the site of Fort Sullivan, a Revolutionary Era fort.

The climate in the North is hard on things; trees, houses and roads.  Maybe because of that, they are just more willing to plan and insist on maintaining things and looking toward the future.  I don't know, but it does give some food for thought.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sidewalks and Sunflowers

Morning Glory
 The Husband and I have been chasing the Grandkids while the Daughter and Son-in-Law took a much deserved mini-vacation.  Unfortunately the computer here needed to go with them and I am really not up to posting a blog with the droid, just too tedious, and I have a low tedium threshold.  Now they have returned and I will post a few of the photos from the local sidewalks.

The morning glory was climbing up a lamp post.  The flower was exactly that intense blue we call morning glory, although morning glory blossoms can be many different blues, reds, purples, or whites.

The sunflower house was using them as a colorful screen I think.  The house was a tall one and the height of the sunflowers worked pretty well with the building.

Sunflowers in the yard

Sunflower close-up

Geraniums do really well up here and the locals seem to really appreciate the summer long color they provide.  This  red geranium 
by the railing was one of seven or eight used on the spacious columned white porch.  
Geraniums on the  porch

This container on the next block uses a nice mix of colors around the centerpiece geranium.

The flowers up here just do not show the stress that the same flowers do back home in the South.  Here they flourish in the cool moist weather and are beautiful and then frost comes.  One of the neighbors told me the first frost should be in the next couple of weeks.  That knowledge makes their beauty all the more poignant. Staying in touch with those agricultural rhythms should keep us grounded.  Beauty is glorious but it is also fleeting.  We all bow to larger more ancient rhythms and influences whether we wish to acknowledge it or not.