Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ya-Yas Walking

Home again.  Leaves again.  An oak branch hangs low over the road where I walk with my ya-yas on alternate week-day mornings.  We have to duck or swerve to miss it.

We've been exercise-walking together for many years, this group of three ya-yas, so named  by one of our daughters after The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.  We have six daughters among us.  I'm so afraid it's in one of our daughters' destinies to write a book about us.  Whoever it turns out to be, may she please wait till we're all dead.

But I digress.  More than its hanging in our way, the thing that has attracted me to this branch for at least three years, is that one of its twigs grows large lobeless leaves on a tree otherwise full of deeply lobed bristle-tipped leaves.  How can that be?

At first we thought it was a caught branch fallen from another tree.  Determining that not to be the case,  we accepted it as some anomaly of the season, likely a one-time occurrence.  But no, three years later the branch still produces the same oddly rounded leaves it has grown for at least as long as we've been attending it and probably longer.   Our tree, by the way, is huge and many generations older than we.

I don't know my oaks, but the broad toothless leaves on the odd branch look to match the leaves of a blackjack oak in the field guides. The branch itself appears to have been damaged---as in possibly broken by a passing truck, then healed.  Could that be the reason for the leaves of wonder?  I'd be grateful to any tree experts out there who can explain. dkm, aka ya-ya #3

Odd branch in September 2011

Odd branch with Ya-ya Peggy

September 2011

October 2011, different angle
Two leaves from same tree, November 2011

Ya-yas Peggy and Pearl 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Compost: Rotten and Rich

Owing to a lifetime of teaching first grade, I admit to a certain guilty pleasure this year in having no children around for whom I felt obligated to toast pumpkin seeds, or now to turn the jack-o-lantern into a pie.  He looks suitably handsome in the organic rubbish heap, soon to be rotten and rich compost.  Is it not an equally worthy end?

Who knew retirement would be so freeing as this?  dkm