Tuesday, June 5, 2007

toy forest

last week-end, we planted trees. oh, did we plant trees! see, when our house was built, the contractor did A LOT of dirtwork - apparently trees get in the way of this endeavor. so this year we thought we might try to re-establish a few of those lovely trees. our effort started in Nenana, about 60 miles south of Fairbanks on the road system, at the Woodland Farms, a really cool tree and reindeer farm (only in Alaska) full of beautiful pines, spruce, birch, etc. we planned to get about 12 trees but the sight of all those baby trees got to me and i selected 15 before Cob cut me off. i tell you, baby trees are almost as cute as baby animals. but less mobile. not really a bad thing, though. we selected our baby trees in early May, and when the farm called to tell us that the ground had thawed and they'd balled up our trees, well, we high-tailed it down there to be reunited with our little forest and bring 'em home! (this required a not-so-bad 14 ft U-Haul rental).

Cob and Stumpy taking a rest after we spent the evening moving around members of our toy forest to figure out their permanent homes. i think Nuchie is after a mosquito...

our friend Dave came over early to help us get the first ones in the ground - that's Cob and Dave consulting over one of two chokecherries that now stand tall (or at least about 5-6 ft tall) in front of kitchen windows. i've been obsessed with having a chokecherry ever since i tasted a friend's chokecherry bounce, a wonderfully purple sipping alcohol. if any of you see that in your future, you're now looking at the very beginning of what i hope will be a long and happy relationship between me and my chokecherries.

then of course, there was beer.

then more trees...

this is Stanley, a lodgepole pine. Stanley is about 5 ft tall - check out his little pine cone beginnings. now, i don't know much about pine reproduction, but i think these are spores - see that little cloud of yellow dust? so cool! you just gently nudge his little pine cones, and poof! yellow pollen or spores or something! i did this about 25 times until Cob suggested that i leave Stanley be. sigh.......................

in case you're wondering, they all have names. other than Stanley, we also are home to Sylvester and Adrienne the chokecherries (Cob calls this our Philly corner); Steve, Julia, and Olga (2 pines and a birch) in the front; Gabriel, Fidel, Ruby, Leo (Cob says short for Leonid), and Josephine (3 pines and 2 spruce on the front slope); Bert and Lucia, the birch and Siberian larch off the deck; Fanny and Bruce (a spruce and a pine along the driveway); and Amythyst, the lilac in the built-in planter. ask me in 6 months if i remember any of these names, but they all have funny stories behind them, i assure you!!

that's a little herb garden at its base!

and then more trees.

Kristin and Jeremy came by to help us plant half of our forest (can you believe they're still talking to us after the Denali debacle?) that's the group planting Lucia and Bert the birch.

all the while, Nuch made sure to keep the dirt pile from walking off. its' a tough job but somebody's got to do it.

ok, i admit it, this doesn't have much to do with tree planting. but, it IS purple and look how pretty! whoever decided that chives should have perky, puffy, purple flowers - genius! total genius.

and how does Nuch sneak into every picture???

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