Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yes, In My Back Yard

Lately around here it's been nearly hot enough to be summer, just in time for that slide into fall that begins next month. Rain has been so frequent this year that the grass is still lush, instead of the water-conserving brown it should be. Basic lawn maintenance season has been extended.

Around midnight last night, the wind whipped up and rain followed. I was falling asleep about then, so it wasn't until I woke up in the morning that I noticed three large, branching pieces of tree lying in the back yard, plus a lot of twigs. From the look of the branches, a gust ripped them right off the trunk from fairly high up. Fortunately they dropped to a spot occupied only by grass, even missing our tripod grill. Any human or animal underneath would have taken a serious hit, or more likely, any part of my roof underneath would now have a serious hole in it, a problem I do not need.

For a while now, I've thought of our back yard tree as a honey locust, because of an identification sign I once saw on a tree in a park. I thought that tree looked like the one I have. But since then I've read about honey locusts, and some of the defining characteristics of that species, like seed pods, seem to be missing from my tree.

So I don't know just what kind of tree it is, only that it's slow to green up in the spring, late to colorize in the fall. This year, in fact, when I left for Texas in early June, the leaves weren't very well developed at all. When I came back in late June there had been some growth, but it was still a green fuzz. I worried that I might have a sick or dying tree on my hands (so to speak), another problem I don't need. About two weeks ago, however, the leaves grew vigorously, turning the tree as green as I've ever seen it.

Some of that greenery came to earth last night, but not enough to harm the tree. I think. As soon as the wood dries out, at least, we'll have a new supply for making fire in the grill.

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