I don’t normally use this space for political comment. I won’t make a habit of it. But I thought these two commentaries were worthy of your consideration.

http://tinyurl.com/5tzsjw

and

http://tinyurl.com/6n9zkn

So, is this a triumph of image over substance? (“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…”)

Will BHO surprise the skeptics? Or his followers? Will the inevitable changes be good for the country?

Be careful what you wish for.

Before rejecting either opinion, I recommend researching the backgrounds of the commentators. Then, judge the validity of their opinions for yourself. (TS) http://tinyurl.com/2hgrjq, (TF) http://tinyurl.com/6ynn26

Last thought. In the future when historians evaluate the George Bush presidency, I hope they factor in the 8 years of constant, withering attacks on his character, intelligence and legitimacy.

Now—back to the garden.

Trifoliar Maple

Trifoliar Maple

More pictures of seasonal change around the Nine Pines Garden.

Robinson Crabapple

Robinson Crabapple

 

 

 

The crabapples nearly glow with color. Or so I’m told.

 

 

 

 

  

Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple

Our little “Fingernail Japanese Maple”
Black Gum

Black Gum

The Black Gum is one of the more dramatic trees for fall color.
Redbud & Witch Hazel

Redbud & Witch Hazel

BTW, the leaves have started turning. The chlorophyll factories are shut down—abandoned migrant worker camps—left to the vagaries of wind, rain and cold—elemental Nature. Un-restored by productive occupation the brittle little workbenches are dropping to the ground ready for re-purposing or the tender ministrations of the rake. 

Katsura

Katsura

Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple

The pleasure I derive from viewing the changing colors of autumn leaves is evidently not as great as it is for many other people. I can see color changes but it just doesn’t seem to carry as much esthetic charge. I’ve always assumed that because of my color deficient vision I was missing the subtleties. Perhaps it is. Maybe it’s just that I prefer the exuberance of spring.

Black Gum

Black Gum

Doral Chenoweth III | Dispatch

Doral Chenoweth III | Dispatch

Last Sunday, from about 3pm to 9pm we were blown witless by dry, swirling winds of 60-75 mph; roughly equivalent to a Category One hurricane—but without the moisture. Greetings from Hurricane Ike!

No rain but just gusty, powerful winds for 6 or 7 hours! No one seems to remember anything like it before.

News reports claimed 286,000 Franklin County residents were without power. Many are still in the dark, including much of my neighborhood. Despite AEP’s best efforts the last remnant may not have their power restored until Sunday, the 21st.

Six hours of the eerie sounds of cracking and crashing tree limbs, power lines snapping and sparking on the ground, electrical transformers blowing out like small bombs and things flying through the air that we are unaccustomed to seeing in flight.

Six hours of anxiety.

DORAL CHENOWETH III | Dispatch

DORAL CHENOWETH III | Dispatch

It was as if France’s famous mistral wind had somehow reached across the ocean. In his novel A Year in Provence Peter Mayle talks about local legends of the mistral inducing madness. Now I have a sense of how that could be.

We were very fortunate—our power stayed on; but many of our neighbors were not so lucky. We had virtually no damage, just a few twigs down. Most of our trees are young and flexible and healthy. Here at Nine Pines, we invest in regular trimming, fertilizing and when necessary anti-bug and anti-disease treatments to keep them in good condition.

In our subdivision dozens of bright orange extension cords lay across streets like tiny speed bumps as neighbors offer neighbors the means to keep their basic vital systems running-freezers, refrigerators, health appliances—even fish tanks. It’s an ill wind indeed that blows no one good.

Part of the shock of this event was the strangeness of it. No flooding, no eight-foot snow drifts, no freezing or super-hot temperatures and yet the county has been paralyzed for nearly a week. Some schools and businesses are still closed.

COURTNEY HERGESHEIMER | Dispatch

COURTNEY HERGESHEIMER | Dispatch

It makes you think.

When we don’t prune in the garden, Nature does it for us through wind, ice, hail, fire, and flood. One way or another, the boughs will be shaped or strengthened. If we don’t prune away the stress and plow under the useless in our lives, pain will do it for us. Make no mistake; I think pain is a wretched gardener. Her cuts stun and sting. But after pruning, and preferably voluntary, we’re able to discern what’s real, what’s important, and what’s essential for our happiness. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

One other side effect—look for a baby boomlet mid-June 2009 with a greater than expected number of the little tykes named Ike or some derivative.

I can’t believe I’ve allowed myself to get so far behind on these updates. I apologize to those of you who have faithfully checked day after day to see what’s going on and been repeatedly disappointed by the lack of news. Okay, so only one of you has been doing that. Whoever you are (Fran) we love you for it! 

While I’m apologizing, let me say I’m sorry for the quality of the pictures below–the first since the surgery. Claire has been understandably resistant to having a camera aimed in her direction since August 8th (I can’t blame her) and I took these without adequate preparation—like properly focusing the camera or knowing what I was doing. Still better than nothing I think. What do you think?

Off to see the doctor-1

Off to see the doctor-1

Last Thursday we had our first follow-up appointment with one of Claire’s surgeons. The appointment went well. All, apparently, is happening as expected and as it should. 

Off to see the doctor-2

Off to see the doctor-2

Claire has been cleared to begin physical therapy (although not required to do so). The nerve pain down the hip and leg has receded and the incision has healed beautifully. Remaining is the pain deriving from the restless and recalcitrant muscles that are resisting the realignment required by the surgical alterations. (Alliteration anyone?) 

Time, mild exercise and adequate rest, now step forward as the primary components of her healing. 

She’s doing well. Except for the occasional “bend too far” experience with its 1-2 day repercussions, she’s walking around more, going out more and generally re-engaging in her life more. 

She’s gradually making the transition from patient to partner-moving “on the spectrum”, as you might say.

I say, “Welcome back, Sweetie!”

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