There’s something about the old homeplace that sparks the imagination. Perhaps it’s the remote location, the old trees, or the abandoned barn. Or maybe it’s something left of the personalities that shaped the place or the bustling activity now swallowed up in quietude – quiet like a house after people leave. Or maybe it’s the landscape, essentially the same after hundreds of years, give or take buildings and trees.
The fire burned the area I call “the park” -- the head of the draw just off the lane. Mike and I have cut some wood there. It’s a lovely area, but I don’t explore it because of tall grass. The fire made it accessible, and for now, it’s been wonderful to investigate the enchantment there.
This tree, apparently a chokecherry, sits in the middle of the park. Mike thinks it will survive the fire damage it sustained. I hope so. Other choke cherry trees were not burned. Last year I discovered cherries on these trees, but not being certain of identification, I didn’t use them. Now that I know they are chokecherries, I regret missing the opportunity because they often don’t bear, probably because it’s too cold in the draw during the spring. Now that I’m reassured as to identification, I’ll watch them more closely.
Here’s another sight that lends enchantment – a fir tree apparently growing out from the trunk of a downed tree. Interesting. We aren’t sure where its nourishment came from, and it’s probably over now since the host tree is cut on both ends. Too bad.
Something in us loves a wending pathway disappearing around a bend. The fight against the fire caused new trails to be built and old trails to be revealed. Before they disappear again in undergrowth – because they will – I want to walk along them. It won’t be far.
And sometimes I just make my own enchantment. As we were fertilizing the trees at the pond last spring, Mike suggested we should string a certain pine with solar Christmas lights. We could see it from the house, he said. (Now he tells me he doesn't remember saying it.) I found the idea inspiring and couldn’t wait until Christmas to try it. Taking advantage of my newly fenced garden, I purchased “fairy lights” and strung them along the fence. [You can just make them out in the picture at the top of this post.] Then I established “Pixieville” inside the fence in a couple of old pans we found at a dumpsite on the property.
And here’s a picture of the top of the old pine tree that fell, all decked out for Halloween. KW