Posts Tagged "tree"

Paul Bunyan | American Lumberjack (Part 1)

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, babies were brought to their families by a stork. Then Paul Bunyan was born, and it took 5 supersized storks to carry him. After that the storks went on strike and babies were delivered by Uber.

Baby Bunyan continued to be bigger than big. He ate fifty eggs and 10 containers of potatoes every day. After a year or two of that, the chickens went on strike. Paul Bunyan was not known for being well-liked in the avian community.

Not only was Paul bigger than big, he was stronger than strong and faster than fast. He was so fast he could turn off the light and jump into bed before the room got dark.

That’s what lumberjacks do: cut down trees and wear plaid. DearKidLoveMom.comPaul spent most of the time cutting down trees because he was a lumberjack and that’s what lumberjacks do: cut down trees and wear plaid.

One day, it started to snow. Not just snow, blue snow. Paul thought blue snow was pretty nifty and went for a walk in the blue snow. On his walk, he found a baby ox stuck in the snow. Paul did the only reasonable thing to do in blue snow and took the ox home. (Well, come on, what would you do if you found an ox in blue snow?)

Once the baby ox warmed up, he was still blue. So Paul named him Babe (because he hoped the ox would play baseball once it was invented) and they became BFFs.

Babe grew bigger than big very quickly. One night, Babe went to sleep in the barn with the other farm animals. The next morning, Paul found Babe calmly eating breakfast in the next valley over. Babe had grown so much overnight that he’d walked to the valley with the barn and all the animals on his back.

At that point Paul’s parents decided things had gone far enough (who needs a mobile barn?) and told Paul to take Babe and go become a tall tale. And being a good kid (and a good ox), off they went.

Paul Bunyan could chop down a forest with a single stroke of his axe, and Babe worked right along with him.

One time, there was a road that was too twisty for the lumberjacks to easily remove the cut trees. So Paul tied one end of the road around a tree stump and gave the other end of the road to Babe. Babe pulled with all his strength and straightened out the road. Rumor is he pulled out all the potholes too.

Tomorrow: The Absolutely True Tall Tales

Love, Mom

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When Was the Last Time You Frolicked?

Dear Kid,

Many, many years ago we had a mulberry tree in our backyard (now we have a mulberry tree stump, but I’ll get to that).

Squirrel Wars 2016 Have Begun. Dad is --once again -- trying to keep the rodents off the birdfeeders. DearKidLoveMomThe mulberry tree had branches that reached from the back of the yard practically to the house. Dad wanted to cut the branches, but I convinced him not to. During the mid to late summer, the squirrels used those branches as their personal grocery store. They would come waaaay out on the branches and reach for the farthest, hardest to reach, presumably yummiest berries. It was jungle gym and produce section in one.

It was serious fun to watch.

Then we had to cut the tree down because it was dying and unsafe.

The squirrels adapted by trying to do triple gainers from other trees to reach the birdfeeder.

This pleased no one except the squirrels.

As I’m writing this, the squirrels are frolicking in the yard. Seriously, frolicking, as they try to figure out how to get their next meal.

We now have tree whose branches have grown far enough out that I can watch the little dudes up close from my chair on the porch.

They spend a lot of time under the birdfeeder encouraging their avian friends to throw down a respectable tithe.

And they are plotting.

It’s obvious as they pause on a tree trunk or branch that they are engaging in Highly Advanced Physics calculations trying to determine if they can Make The Leap from their location to the birdfeeder.

So far the answer is no, which pleases the squirrels not at all but the humans and birds are happy.

As for the stump, it still sits in the yard. And the squirrels haven’t forgotten it. yesterday, one of them paused on the stump, leaning over the edge, to watch other squirrels play/fight/frolic. Stump as lounge chair.

Très cute.

Hope you have some time to frolic today.

Love, Mom

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Harvest Your Own Sap for Maple Syrup

Dear Kid,

Tapping the maple grove hoping for a huge maple syrup harvest. DearKidLoveMom.comDad has decided to tap the maple grove. The maple grove in our front yard consisting of exactly one youngish tree.

Dad: Do you know what a spile is?
Me: Yes.
Dad: You do?
Me: Of course I do. I read all the Hunger Games books.
Dad: Huh?
Me: Never mind. I know what a spile is.

So Dad and NeighborFriend drilled a hole in our tree, plugged in the spile, and rigged an entire system to harvest maple sap.

They forgot to ask the tree how she felt about having the procedure done.

Apparently she wasn’t so much in favor of being harvested.

So far, we have an elaborate rig, a broken spile, and no sap collected.

Dad has explained—in exquisite detail—that this is due to the warm weather (which will soon be corrected), not clearing out the hole for the spile (which has now been “mended” with a straw), and other metaphysical inconsistencies.

Just so we’re clear: do not count on maple syrup supplementing your inheritance. You’ll be lucky if it supplements your pancake. Singular.

Love, Mom

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The Great Tree Crisis | Social Media Saves the Planet

Dear Kid,

Have you heard about the Great Tree Crisis?

Sycamore High School decided to chop down 10 big sycamore trees near the track and HS Stadium.

So, without notice or explanation, they did.

You might think people would not notice. You’d be wrong. You might think students would not care. You would again be wrong. You might think the community would hope the school would do the right thing and ignore the situation. Once more, not so much.

There was a hue and cry. There was much ado about trees. There was social media impact. Classroom learning was disrupted by conversation about the trees. Parent shook their heads over the loss misuse of a teachable moment. Students ridiculed the notion that they couldn’t run on the track if there were leaves in the way.

I speak for the trees.--The Lorax. Students protest when High School cuts down 10 old Sycamore trees.

All of which led (several many days later) to this letter from the principal.

We have been hearing a number of concerns regarding the removal of the trees along the turf field and track facility next to the Gregory Center. We are hoping that this information can be helpful for those concerned so that they know this is a process and we are in the beginning stages of a transition in that area.  Hopefully these notes will help our stakeholders understand the rationale for this decision and future plans to address the area:

  1. The trees are being removed due to the current and potential damaging effects that they can have to the newer turf field and also the new track surface. Unfortunately, the maintenance of the turf facility and track require special equipment.  Removal of leaves and other debris from the trees can be difficult and potentially damaging to the facility.  In order to properly maintain and protect the recent investment of over $1,000,000 in this facility, we made the decision to remove the trees.
  2. The safety of our students running or dodging the debris prior to clean up was a continual and most pressing concern.  The students and athletes using the facility were constantly dealing with debris in their path and on playing surfaces for events.  Maintenance personnel were doing their best to remove it, but cannot be there at all hours of the day.
  3. We are planning appropriate plantings/vegetation to replace the trees.  We are looking at bushes and trees that would not spray debris onto the playing or running surfaces.  It will add value and character to the area without doing damage to the facility like the current trees.  The plantings will be completed in the Spring 2016.  We are also looking at adding Sycamore trees to other areas of campus where the debris will not affect our practice and game facilities.

As you are aware, these are all decisions that we make for the protection of our students and of our facilities.  We always strive to do what is best for our students and our district.  It is our hope that the community will trust that we will complete this process and continue to make these type of decisions in the future.  Our apologies for the disruption that the tree removal may have caused to you and or any emotional feelings surrounding the removal.

We will continue to try to make improvements to the campus to not only enhance the learning environment but to be fiscally responsible in maintaining the campus.

Doug Mader, Principal


This did exactly nothing to calm the situation. (And yes, I am silently correcting his grammar.)

So the Lorax and other tree people measured the diameter of the tree stumps (about 200 inches total) to hold the district (and by “district” I mean the school principal) accountable for replacing an equivalent amount of tree trunk. (Turns out, when you’re a public entity and you cut down trees, you have to replace them with an equivalent sum of tree diameters so that you don’t have too big an impact on the environment. It also turns out that not everyone trusts that the district will do this of their own volition. At least not in this decade.)

There will undoubtedly be more to the story.

Stay tuned.

And hug a tree.

Love, Mom

I speak for the trees.--The Lorax. Students protest when High School cuts down 10 old Sycamore trees.

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The Puppy Writes About Mom and Weeds

Dear Kid,

Some people can pull weeds without getting dirty. Mom isn’t one of them.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last night, Mom came home with a Determined Attitude. She was Determined to do some weeding, which was fine with me because I got to go Out. I figured we’d just be out for a little bit because it was time for my dinner.

Since Mom-wanting-to-weed is a pretty rare event, Dad came outside with us. According to Mom, we have more weeds per square foot than any other home in Ohio and she decided she’d rather be in second place.

Mom attacked the weeds with all the grace of a rampaging hippo. She dug out dirt. She dug out worms (which are boring). She dug out rocks (which are even more boring). She even dug out a bunch of weeds. I lay down in the grass to watch the events and wait for dinner.

Then she started in on a Really Big Weed. She gave it A Look which should have withered it, but weeds aren’t known for being particularly smart and it stayed leafy green. She used a bunch of Bad Words and a lot of dirt went flying.

Dad told her it was a tree. Mom said it was a weed. Then she gave Dad A Look. Dad should have withered (or at least stopped talking).

Dad: You know its root system goes down at least a foot or two right? You’re not going to be able to get it out with a hand trowel.

Oh, Dad, Dad. Not the right thing to say. I stayed safely on the grass watching the rest of the world and wondering when someone was going to feed me.

Mom continued to dig.

I have pointed out in the past that We Are Not Supposed to Dig, but apparently there are different rules for weeds.

After a while, Mom said: Do you think this is important?

Dad: That’s a scary sounding question. What is it?
Mom: I have no idea.
Dad: Is it metal? Leather?
Mom: Not metal. Don’t think it’s leather.
Dad: Well don’t hurt yourself with it. It’s not important whether it comes out of the ground

Oh, Dad, Dad. Not the right thing to say.

Mom gave the Thing a Look. The Thing wasn’t that smart, because it didn’t do anything. Then she started digging again.

After a long, long time (my tummy was rumbling really loudly—I could hardly hear myself think about dinner), Dad walked over to where Mom was still digging.

Dad: Would you like some help?
Mom: Yes, please

Dad smashed through the rest of the root system and the tree weed fell down. The Thing stayed in the ground (it didn’t sniff like anything interesting). And I finally got dinner.

Mom went off muttering that the only good reason to deal with weeds is to get a blog topic but she was too tired to write.

Dad pointed out that she had a lot of dirt on the back of her legs.

Oh, Dad, Dad. Not the right thing to say.

Love, Your Favorite Puppy

Who do you know who would enjoy DearKidLoveMom? Spread the word.

See more puppy conversations

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