Peaches

Our garden plot had a peach explosion in June.  Early June, small peaches lined our peach tree’s thin branches like strings of beads. It was bittersweet to pick the immature fruit, but necessary to allow growing space and branch support for some peaches to reach full size. By mid June many small peaches dropped on their own. The picked peaches were fed to our compost bin.

The dropped peaches were nibbled by mystery critters. I had to step around pits and half eaten peaches to pick the peaches off our tree. Many were too high to reach without standing on a ladder or bending a branch.  By the end of June, we had many ripe peaches that dripped sweet juice with each bite or slice. We are amazed that our once scrawny peach tree purchased on clearance at Home Depot a couple years ago was so productive this year.

 

 

 

Walking sticks

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We found a lovely canopy of Japanese Maple trees on a late November walk in North Carolina. I found a little refuge, a reminder that God is our refuge and shelter. My son found walking sticks.  He brought them home, removed the  bark with a pocket knife and rubbed the bare wood smooth with fine grit sandpaper. “It feels like velvet now,” he said, sliding his hand along its surface.  He looked proud of his uncovered treasure. At Christmas, he gave one of his carved walking sticks to a friend who hikes long distances. Nature uncovers gifts…comfort and awareness of God’s protection; a child’s perseverance and generosity; and a mom’s pride in her son.

Arbor Day 2015 – Celebrate and Plant a Tree

Spring 2015 Eastern Red Bud
Eastern Redbud planted October 2014

Last year, my husband planted this Eastern Redbud tree in our backyard to celebrate my birthday.  This is our first Spring to watch it bloom.  Redbud trees have small rosy-pink flowers that outline its bare branches like strings of lights. The flowers follow the curve of the tree limbs giving these trees a light and airy quality. They add an elegant and subtle beauty among the bigger “cotton candy” shaped Spring blooming trees.

The Eastern Redbud are native to Eastern United States and Canada. They can be found tucked among larger trees  in neighborhoods, along roadways and in the woods.

One day my son and I played “look for the Redbud trees” while driving home from school.   Planting a tree is fun and opens our eyes to nature around us.

Trees in Winter

our fig tree

Trees in winter are beautiful!

The bare tree branches are like line drawings on the sky.   The branches on our fig tree grew a lot  longer this year.   We used to cover them in burlap for the winter, but they are too big for that now (see our fig tree post for more information about our productive tree).   Since figs grow only on the new branch growth, we plan to prune our fig tree towards the end of winter.    This will be its first pruning.  It is hard to do, but it must be done or we will need a ladder to reach the figs this summer!

oak

The evergreen trees and deciduous trees with remaining shriveled leaves are like welcoming shelters in the sparse winter landscape.  My son likes to play “ding dong on the doorbell”  underneath them.  It is a game where I ring a tree bark doorbell to enter and visit him in his safe and cozy tree house.

The oak trees in our neighborhood  do not drop all their leaves in winter.   I learned that it is a natural condition called marescence.  Some experts believe that this protects the overwintering buds on the trees.

Trees in winter are beautiful because they remind me that true strength is revealed in adversity and new growth requires pruning and protection.