Free the Tree (a mini Weed Wrangle)

“Smothered and Covered” works great for hashbrowns at Waffle House, but not for trees in your yard.
When invasive vines smother and cover trunks and branches, the tree—eventually—is toast.

Look around. It’s winter. Are shade trees casting shade from twigs that should be bare?
Are elms and hackberries magically green from soil to sky?

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Winter Hummingbird

I have a winter hummingbird!

“Please consider leaving out your feeder year-round,” said the hummingbird researcher to Facebook, and for some reason I considered.
“Keep it cleaned, maintained and easily viewed and YOU might be one of the lucky ones to host a winter hummingbird.” 

I want to be a lucky one, I thought, but I’m a slacker with feeders. It’s hard enough to keep scrubbing and filling and PROVIDING during normal hummingbird season (April to October), especially when I see no hummingbird for weeks at a time.
I need instant, gorgeous, iridescent, humming feedback that the work is worth it.

But, I fetched my feeder from storage. Maybe mold grows slower in winter?

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Robins for Thanksgiving

The Robin ‘Hood show is starting. Nashville ‘hoods keep robins all year, but we get an influx of winter robins, too, and right now all the robins are appearing in a hackberry near you.

November is the month I love hackberries all the more. 
And, it’s the month hackberry haters hate them all the more. 
The same reason explains both: ROBINS.

The Sidewalk Nature pic below is another Robin “hood:” the hood of a car. Surely the driver must was from out of town, because locals know better than to park under a hackberry full of robins.

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Tree Soap

Our Sugar Maple is blowing bubbles in the rain.
Not to fret: It’s fine, it’s just one of Nature’s Soaps.

After a long dry spell, rain is washing accumulated salts and acids down rough bark—mixing, agitating as it goes—and crude soap is drooling to the ground.
Like shampoo at your feet as you wash your hair in the shower.

“TREE SOAP” is the kind of news I love to share.

Michael was busy when I ran into the kitchen, so I shared to the back of his head, “Our tree is making SOAP!” and then apologized for the distraction. 

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Buckeye lashes

Let me explain.

When I posted a photo of buckeye capsules at Music Row, I mentioned that they would dry and split, and that the outer hull would look like a buck’s upper and lower eyelid. The seed inside would be the eye: the Buck-Eye.
Nancy, who has known me since 6th grade, wrote, “I want to see the eyelids when they open!” 

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September + elm

Today I learned not to start a sidewalk conversation with “Is this your tree?”

Because the nice lady who was walking towards her tree, and who I’ve seen in the neighborhood for over 25 years, but who I’ve never spoken to until now, answered my question with an alarmed, “WHY? WHAT’S WRONG WITH IT?”

From which the conversation could not recover. My lack of social skills and her lack of hearing proved to be unbeatable obstacles.

Nothing is wrong with it,” I said, and then said again, louder.

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