Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Flowering Pear, Post #199

Good Day, Good Earth Friends!

I am still waiting for the arrival of my Cobalt blue Japanese Anemone (FedEx anyone?!). Sorry friends, but I’ll keep you updated on the blog when I get them in.

While I am (impatiently!) waiting for them to show up on my doorstep, I thought to devote this week’s space to answering Frieda’s question tagged to last week’s post (where I confess going on and on about how I love my Golden Bamboo hedges –and still do!). Frieda S. of Connersville asks, “What specifically have you done to make your new home more Hoosier biome friendly?” Well, Frieda, as many of my followers know: quite a lot! I planted a sycamore last year (probably not the best place, since the water table is so low), and this year two apple trees, two pear trees, two dogwoods, three Papaws, and three persimmon (although an Asian hybrid). Whew! I also rescued a wild Tulip – Indiana’s state tree -- and I am a proud caretaker of my youthful beech tree, making sure rubbish doesn’t collect at her base. I do the same for my inherited three oaks (a red, a white, and a Chestnut) that the previous owner seemed to use as a place to stack his rotting firewood. Ugh! Of course, my four Hawthorns seem to want to take care of themselves (they get a little ‘thorny’ when I go near them – LOL). And as I have shared in posts #31, #33, and #34, my 1.32 acre of woods support a hillside of wild maples from soft to hard, as well as dozens of aging redbuds. I have no plans to disturb them in any way – well, except to put in some walkways, a couple of decks, a rocky waterfall when electricity is f-i-n-a-l-l-y laid out there…and a hammock! :0)

Thus, Frieda, I think I have now a perfect Hoosier biome, thank you very much. Well, almost perfect.

As I confessed in Post #157, in midsummer while hoeing my (rather clayish) garden, I welcome the sweet harmony of sweat and honeysuckle as me and the honeysuckle bake in the afternoon sun. Yes, I realize the DNR says the honeysuckle is getting out of hand in these parts, and they have begun some kind of eradication program. But what to do? I hate killing things. I’m a Naturalist, after all. That’s why I leave the honeysuckle alone and why I left alone (and even fertilize!) the burning bushes emerging along the edge of my woods. Although they, too, are not indigenous, untrimmed burning bushes are faithful guardians between me and my snooping neighbors (see posts #88 and #91 thru #95). Besides, my burning bushes dab the last paint of color in autumn and, well; I’m a sucker for color!

Frankly, I just would rather not pluck or plow or poison anything if I don’t have to do so. I’m sort of a Saint Francis about that. In fact, I read that birds love the red berries of poison ivy. Poison ivy! Well, who doesn’t hate the stuff? My eyes start to itch just looking at it. Yet, poison ivy is as natural to Indiana as the sycamore, so I kill it only when I need to and with a squirt bottle of organic brush killer when it creeps around my sheds and into my beautiful English Ivy patch along the street (and no matter how careful I am with the brush killer, I end up turning brown and killing a portion of my English Ivy. Sad!). But really, I just leave things be, like Saint Francis would, to natural harmony.

I even kept that Chinese elm in the front yard, although they are quite spooky looking trees – especially that particular skeletal thing! In fact, it was struck by lightning -twice! in that terrible storm last week (that drowned my daffodils -posts #195, #196). Still, thanks to Jerry M. and M.Wylit (post #132 and M.Wylit again in posts #133 thru #136 - um, I got it M.Wylit!) for pointing out how they are taking over swamps along the White River. But I confessed, the Naturalist in me said: leave-it-be. Fortunately, I planted three pear trees in the space between the Chinese elm and the English Ivy along the street (posts #162 thru #168). A good use of extra space for sure, and I’ll get some sweet fruit in the coming years, too!

So, there you have it Frieda. Not a perfect Hoosier biome (whatever could be?). Oh! My MERLIN story. A funny thing on those pears that I don’t believe I shared. Nope! Just did a search of the blog, and I’m surprised that I didn’t mention it -- like I have everything else! LOL :0)

Well, as you know, I cleared the area of weird and wiry little Chinese elm sprouts and turned up the clay real good. I then went to the hardware store and picked out three of their tallest pears. They were even on sale, so no burden in the least. But, when I started to plant them, I laughed at myself so hard that I fell back onto the grass! What a joke I’ve been played. Obviously, someone at the hardware store mixed up the trees. While two were fruit producing Bartlett’s, the third was some sort of ornamental pear tree. I looked up the Latin name on the web to make sure and yep: Bradford pear. Well, these trees are for parks and country clubs; I see them everywhere in the city – even growing wild in open fields. Apparently, they are from Asia. Most certainly, this tree would never produce fruit. Beautiful white flowers, yes; and the first to blossom in spring. Well…I scratched my head and looked it over. Pears are natural in Indiana, I thought – Asian or not – so I decided it will stay.

The story gets strange here. Later that afternoon while I flattened the clay around the pear trees, I swatted away some gnats and stood up and discovered a young man wearing a bizarre, shiny jumper suit of some kind standing next to the road, arms folded, and staring right at me (if not through me. Creepy!) I nodded my usual friendly nod, said hello, and went about my dirt work. 

I forgot about him standing there until he said, “The very Pyrus calleryana?”

I stood up and rubbed my elbows; my back just ached! I answered him with a big Huh?

“That…thing in the middle.” He pointed right at the flowering pear tree.

“Oh, the Bradford. Yes, it’s this one.” And I tugged on its branch. Is he a Biologist, I thought? This guy was awfully young to be a professional of any kind. Early 20s, or something. He also seemed a little angry, like I took his car keys away. LOL

“You just couldn’t talk yourself into killing it, could you? Do you ever think things through?”

Bizarre he talked like an old man. A rude old man! Like my neighbors "Thelma and Louise" as I often refer in my posts.

“Well, I’m rather a Saint Francis when it comes to nature.” I think I said. “I’ve got quite a menagerie of life, as you can see! I'm a Naturalist.” I remember him snorting, like that was some kind of proper retort. “You must not like pear trees?”

“Did you say, Saint Francis? You are nothing like him! And do pray tell me why did you plant it next to that…abomination?” He pointed at the Chinese elm.

Now, I’m no fan of that ugly tree. But, I got to tell you, this guy was rather too direct. I answered, something like, “That tree is, like, thirty years old. Why would I have it cut down?” Anyway, did this guy not know it would cost hundreds of dollars?

I waited for an answer, although I can’t tell you why, dear readers. This guy just seemed…intense! Kind of like that “Aurelius” creep who kept linking that invasive species list from the DNR in posts #162 thru #168 until I blocked him. I wonder now if this was him, but I didn’t make that connection at the time. Anyway, how I go on. LOL I have to keep telling myself that this is a blog and not a phone conversation!

This guy shook his head more than a few times. I didn’t want to be rude (in kind!), so I wished him a good day and got back down on my knees to pat down the dirt. Now, this is where it gets even stranger. He said something – more like a mumble. A couple of cars passed by and I thought he had left.

“You have done a very stupid thing here. You haven’t a clue to how destructive is your stupidity!”

Well, of course I was shocked and angry by his words. Yet, I felt it was best to ignore this crazy man. Besides, I had a lot of yard work still on my list of Good Earth Maintenance as you know I like to call it. He then said something very peculiar.

“While I travel from the future to the past on my third contrition, I simply could not resist taking this dimensional shift to see how it all happened, and so perfectly disastrously, at the hands of a bona fide and universally known idiot.”

Yes! That is exactly what he said, because I will never forget how bizarre it was to hear it. I stopped working the clay, but I did not acknowledge the insult. I just stared up at the Bradford and waited for the freak show to leave. He then asked me again if I ever think things through at all. What a rude little man!

“But what bedevils me is the chemistry of causation within your deadly elixir. Listen, fool. What is in that vessel near you?”

Well, I had had enough. Time to move on! Like in post #34 when I declared that I bought my last Owen’s Special Grip spade. Pure junk!

I grabbed ‘the vessel’ which was my NaturPlentiBounti Organic Brush killer (EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT STUFF!), and I tossed it at him. “Here you go.”

He was very quick and seemed to catch it with his eyes before his hands. 

“Ah, yes. I see. The so-called “Organic” constituent.” He then declared, “hoc stercus tauri est” of which I remember from my Latin (but you will have to look it up yourselves). “That,” he continued, “and the Pyrus calleryana…grown in the firmament of the Ulmus parvifolia.” 

He threw the bottle at my feet, “And, of course, the actual fool who set it all off!”

The man then took to the road as I stood there is disbelief! Well, what can I say? I just returned to my task, wanting to forget all that had just happened, and –well I think a good three minutes had past when suddenly I felt an incredible pain in my right hand. I remember slowly looking over to it and seeing, like slow motion, how my hand was being crushed under the twisting heal of that crazy man’s boot! I couldn’t get myself to scream; I could only look up into the man’s face (who looked much, much older up close – Botox anyone?). He grimaced (like the Grinch!) and clenched his teeth.

“I, Merlinus Caledonensis, warning you!” He mumbled as he twisted and twisted his heal, “You, The Fool of Great Proportions, simply-could-not-heed!”

When I finally could muster a scream, the crazy guy had already taken to the road towards Broad Ripple village (where, as all locals know, is where such nutty people tend to go – even the Merlins LOL). Well, I was beside myself, clutching my hand, wondering what the H-E-double L had just happened. Needless to say, I just had to stop what I was doing and get cleaned up, make myself some dandelion tea, and put it all behind me. And I did. Well, until I began writing this incredible post! :)

Still love my Bradford! Nana-nana-naa-naa! What a Loon!

Well, I'm signing off, Good Earth Friends! Hoping tomorrow brings my Japanese Anemone. Will certain let you know.

The Good Earth Doctor, Post #199

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