Category Archives: trees

Mountain Art, While Supplies Last

Balancedrocks

Mountain art

With the snow relinquishing its hold on the hillsides, we have been spending much more time wandering through the woods.  If I walk slowly enough, the woods will reveal creative opportunities in every direction.  At my feet there is a pine cone that looks strangely different from the rest.  To my right, a rock that sparkles in the sun.  On the bank beside the path, a gnarled root that would make a great paperweight or bookend without any alterations whatsoever.

On a recent trip two of our children carried half of their body weight in rocks home because they couldn’t bring themselves to leave such wonderful treasures behind.  When they learned they wouldn’t be allowed to bring armloads of rocks inside, they quickly found creative outlets for them.  For one a massive addition to her fairy garden, to another a great start for a decorative stone border for her strawberry patch.

Burl

The burl on this tree will make a few beautiful bowls or one gorgeous bushel basket.

What I love about these woodland art supplies is that as long as we manage the wilderness with gentle benevolent intent, there will always be more creative project prompts ready and waiting.  I never go into the woods with an artistic purpose in mind.  The things I see and find will guide the process organically.

The balanced rocks in the feature photo took maybe 3 minutes of my time, but I get to watch their journey through the seasons for the rest of the year.  I definitely didn’t expect that I would do that on that walk, but there was a pile of stones that was just waiting for rearranging.  I don’t doubt that snow will knock them over this winter, but that will just give me a clean canvas for next year.

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Tree Planting Season

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The day that bare root trees arrive in the mail is always an exciting day. It’s a day for dreaming, even for those of us who are usually so well grounded in reality. These finger-thick twigs with a few roots at their bottom will explode into a 12 foot tall solar-powered fruit factory in 5 years or less, and then continue bearing fruit loyally and faithfully for decades upon decades as long as you remember to uphold your part of the contract.

Upon arrival, you must remember that these trees are in the most vulnerable part of their existence. They are young, fragile, and their roots are not in the life-giving soil where they belong. Can you imagine what that must be like? Of course you can, you were a young adult once – Continue reading

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Filed under agrarianism, trees, Uncategorized