Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Today was lovely, from beginning to end. In the northwest to have a sunny day all day is a rare treat in the springtime. No clouds, a blue sky all washed clean of clouds, and a crisp morning with a warm afternoon - how can it get any better? Well, I'll tell you: the wild cherries the birds have planted in our woods are in full bloom, as is the orchard and most of the native trees, including the beautiful native dogwoods, several of which have planted themselves in strategic locations so they can be seen from our windows. Yesterday I located a Pacific Crabapple tree that I feared had been destroyed in the logging we had done recently, but it is alive and well except for a couple of broken branches that can be trimmed back. Not only that, but I located some more of them nearby, all nearly ready to bloom that I hadn't even known existed.
I really enjoy the native trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers that grow near us. We are fortunate to have a good variety of them right where we live. Down below our house is a small pond with native grasses that thrive in the marshy soil around the pond. We see blue herons there occasionally, probably catching frogs and newts. One time I went for a walk down there, and spotted a perfectly round bump near the surface of the clayey soil, and it turned out to be a stone bowl that had most likely originally been used by Indians in the area.
On the south slope above the pond there are two old apple trees. We learned from our neighbor that a man whose family had originally owned this property planted those trees when he was a boy. We still enjoy those apples, long after that boy has lived his long life and been gone many years. He lives on in our memories, though, especially around harvest time.
We are replanting the areas where we harvested some trees with Douglas firs and Western Red cedar trees. Fortunately there are still a lot of those same trees here, as well as the beautiful bloomers I mentioned, and some small, pretty trees like Vine Maple and Hawthorn.
I know that there are many edible plants here too - maybe that's why that stone bowl was here - the new fern fiddleheads, nettles, and others. I've not tried wild harvesting, but I'd like to try.
On beautiful days like this I really look and think and reminisce about where we live. I realize the incredible wealth of beauty and sustainable resources that the natural environment offers us all - people and animals, and the plants themselves. The interdependence is circular, and can go on into the future if properly cared for.