"Simple like an uncarved block."
Tao te Ching

"Like an acorn that holds the promise of a thousand forests."

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I'm starting my stroll in the woods to check on the fern. By fall they should be quite large. Something about ferns seem very calming to me.

At the edge of the woods is our Sweet Shrub, most of the flowers are gone and the interesting seed pods are taking the flowers places. Very interesting to look at, but I understand the seeds inside are poisonous.
Here is the experimental hanging tomato plants, bush on top and grape hanging from the bottom. We are not thrilled. The top plant can't take the heat and we have been watering every day and sometimes twice and it still looks pitiful. We did eat our FIRST TOMATOES today. They were four grape tomatoes from the bottom plant.

Our potted tomatoes are doing much better. Pay no attention to the yellow leaves, I forgot to pick them off before taking the picture. Do we know how to recycle or what? Our buckets were piling up in the garage, we knew they would be good for something.

I've walked through the house and am on the front porch. A Friend gave me the start for this plant last year and I can't remember what variety it is. If you know give me a heads up.

Checking the temperature is a little hard because the Fuchsia is getting in the way. I think it is near the 80' here in the shade. Behind the flower baskets is our American Chestnut tree. It is becoming quite an eye full. And we have two trees out of four that we planted that are doing well and should live long and prosper.

Here is a close up of the catkins. The native American Chestnut trees were almost entirely wiped out by a disease in the early 1900's. The few hardy trees that resisted the disease have been cherished and nurtured for years while foresters worked to create reliable young trees.

For years all new growth died after seeming to be established. New growth would come up from the roots, but always failed after a time. The disease is still doing its deadly work. But recently hope is being renewed by trees that seem to have longevity.

There is now true hope that once again the American Chestnut tree will reign as the beautiful and strong hearty building material that formed vast numbers of barns and buildings still standing across the U.S. The story My father told me was that a squirrel in Maine could move across the tops of Chestnut trees all the way to the Mississippi delta region without ever having to touch the ground. The forests were that dense and full of Chestnut trees.

That's my stroll and forestry lesson for the day. To find other strollers go to


Aisling said...

I loved the Chestnut tree lesson, and especially the story that Grandpa told you.

Glad you strolled!

Cloudhands said...

I like to think that Daddy knew what he was talking about, but he was a fisherman with a memory for bigger and better. And in his day, story telling was an art practiced by many country folks.

Joyce said...

I've that the same research is being done on elm trees. Our town was full of elms at one time, but when I was a small child I remember them being cut down systematically as they got Dutch Elm disease. Apparemntly a few resistant ones are being used to propagate new ones.

One Woman's Journey said...

I enjoyed strolling with you.
Everything looks so lush and green.
Have a great rest of the day.

Cloudhands said...

Joyce, I also remember when the city of Detroit had to cut down the Elms in the city. Some of neighborhoods looked awful. They replaced them with other varieties, but it took awhile before they filled in and gave the residental areas shady. Thank goodness for people dedicated to healing the trees.

Cloudhands said...

I am always amazed at how quickly the greenery takes over. We come to a time every summer when we have to clear bushes and shrubs back to the tree lines.

Crafty Gardener said...

I enjoyed strolling with you. I tried the upside down tomatoes one year ... not too bad a crop. Enjoy the day.

Cloudhands said...

Well, welcome Mis Crafty, it's so nice to have you stop by for a visit. I think our tomatoes in the hanging basket are getting the nutrients washed out by all the rains and the watering we have had to do. I added some Miracle Grow for tomatoes and hopefully that will help. The advertizing on TV and magazines made these hanging plants look fantastic. We'll see how the season goes.

Beth Niquette said...

What lovely pictures, what a beautiful place! How perfectly wonderful--I too feel the same way about fern and about trees. They are utterly lovely and somehow impart peace to my heart. I love to wander the woods--and over hill and dale. (grin)

Must be the explorer in my soul.

Cloudhands said...

I have to admit I am a tree hugger. There is an aura about trees that draw me to them and I want to touch them or sit in them or just plop down among them and rest. Living at the edge of a forest is a gift. Thanks for coming by.

Wendy said...

Your chestnut is so beautiful! You wonder how disease seems to come out of nowhere and destroy so much of our wildlife and then nature balances itself and once again the trees (or whatever) make a come back! At least this story has a happy ending.

Love your fuschia. I have some blooming on my deck.
Happy gardening!

Cloudhands said...

I sure hope the result of all the desire to save the trees turn out well. In the last couple of years we have gotten small chestnuts from our trees and even roasted the few that were produced. I wasn't very impressed. Maybe as we get more and they grow bigger and I learn how to properly roast them I will think them more tasty.