Thursday, January 05, 2006

beginnings and endings

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The beginning of this year marks the end of a really nice old tree that used to live outside my front door.  It was one of a pair of grand old White Spruce trees, that stood on either side of the entrance to our home.  I have often wondered if the first owners of the cabin planted them as "Man and Wife Trees", a custom that I read about in an Eric Sloane book.
 
At any rate, a few years ago a big storm came to our area, and blew over many white pine trees.  As they lay rotting, they attracted the white pine sawyer...which is an interesting looking beetle with antenna that measure three times the length of their body.  The adults feed on pine needles, but they lay their eggs under the bark.  Herein, lies the danger to the tree.  The larva and subsequent pupae, chew into the wood.  I have heard them munching away,and have seen the sawdust float down and form a pile at the base of the tree.
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The pine sawyer beetles made their way to one of our white spruce trees.  Although the beetle does not kill the tree, the holes that it leaves behind provide an environment for pathogenic fungi to develop.  This is what killed our tree.
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The tree stood close enough to the house to make it necessary to take it down.  All that remains of the tree now, is a pile of mulch that will serve as pathways through the garden this summer.  Many thanks to MK and his sons for doing a remarkable job for us.
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I am still working on knitting up several different types of slippers to felt.  They are great for using up leftover bits of handspun because I carry several strands of yarn at a time.  This pair is being made from a blend of Finnsheep (that I spun during demonstration this past summer)...and handspun Angora, from Jack.
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They are quite cozy in my hands as I knit them.  I intend to give them to my mother, and will be taking some time away for a visit.

5 comments:

Leslie Shelor said...

The two spruce that stand in front of my house were planted by my grandmother when she came here as a very young bride. That would have been 70-plus years ago. Sorry you have lost one of yours; they are lovely trees.

cyndy said...

Thanks Leslie-
We figure our trees are 50+ years at least...I am still getting used to the "new look" of things.

Judith said...

Happy New Year, Cyndy--very interesting about the white pine sawyer. I'm sorry to hear they attacked your lovely spruce tree! We are in the midst of having some white pines removed that are too close to the house. It is amazing the job the tree people accomplish. I like the slippers you are knitting, very nice!

claudia at countrywool said...

You are making full use of that slipper pattern! Excellent :) Like eating potato chips, eh?

Judy said...

Hey just a short note to wish your blog a Happy Birthday (Jan 8th) you pry forgot with all the hub-bub. Since you got me into all the bad stuff- spinning, weaving, knitting, blogging - I am looking forward to many more postings! Then there is also the fact that you forget to tell me stuff on the phone and I have to read about it in your blog!!!

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