The Pruning Challenge

We’ve been pruning our apple trees.

I like the challenge of deciding what to do with each tree. But not so much the challenge of standing on the top of a ladder.

What branches need to go? Which should stay for the long haul? And what branches should only stay for now?

Each tree grows with a different personality.

They have twisty branches or willowy branches. They grow with limbs that want to grow out forever and others that want to reach up forever. The ones that grow up forever are John’s job. 

Pruning the trees is a constant exercise in studying the details. Watching for rot and fungus while looking at angles that limbs grow out of the main truck. Checking to see how a branch responded to what was done to it last year to know what to try this year. And double checking to see if your ladder is stable. 

And then, at the same time, trying to hold a picture of the whole tree in your mind, not just today’s tree, but what today’s tree should look like in three years. This is better than holding a picture in your mind about how far off the ground you are, that’s ill advised.

It’s a challenge, and I like it. Well, other than that whole “heights” thing.

Except that today, a week in to the process and so close to done, my brain broke. I couldn’t figure out what to do with another wonky branch or just how many waterspouts to cut and how many to leave.  I left John plugging away at it and stumbled out of the orchard in search of a Diet Coke and dinner. Also shortly before this I may not have triple checked the stability of my ladder and while I’m sure I didn’t actually almost fall two whole feet to the ground and die – it felt completely possible at the time. 

Pruning is a challenge.

I always like a challenge, I’ll be back out there again tomorrow. Unless the last trees are really tall and then it’s all John.

All John. 

Picture taken for The Dogwood Photography Photo Challenge: Macro

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Selective Color

Hello!

This is Smoke. He let me take pictures of his iridescent feathers for a long time while I figured out my selective color camera settings.

John had no idea he had purple and green feathers. He’s color blind. He says his “world is drab.”

Smoke on the other hand can see things in the Ultra Violet spectrum. And he’s turning into a bit of ham for the camera.

Pigeons- cooler than you think.

You can try and argue with me on this one but be warned, I have 3,456 more pictures of pigeons and I will use them!

 

Zoom Burst

You know how some people say, “… then life happened.”

Well, this last week capoeira happened.

It’s basically the same thing.

Except that after your Contra-Mestre comes to town for a week and it flies by in a whirl of workshops, performances and rodas, all followed by plenty of food and friends and late nights, your legs hurt more than you would like to admit, you are pretty sure your feet might fall off and you have a constant stream of songs in Portuguese running through your head. But in either case nobody has done the laundry (well except for your capoeira whites of course) or gone to the grocery store or, you know, slept.

But that’s okay. Because when life and capoeira happen, sometimes you’ve just got to embrace it, tape up your feet and enjoy the ride!

I had no idea what a zoom burst was until this week’s Dogwood Photo Challenge. I had experimented with some nice colorful flower shots but this picture of my capoeira cord on the group’s drum (with a tiny string of lights for extra fun) seemed much more fitting.

 

 

 

Alternating Rhythm

I love the winter.

I love the snow and the cold, the skiing and the sledding and tromping about in a winter wonderland.

But I also love the long nights with the extra time inside to play games, read by the fire and even catch a little extra sleep.

When I was outside trying to capture the alternating rhythm in the light on the field for this week’s photo challenge, it occurred to me that maybe part of why I love winter is the alternating rhythm of my days.  With daylight hours spent up and moving in the cold weather and nights reserved for recovering by the warm fire, winter days acquire a rhythm that those long days of summer never do.

Or, maybe, it’s just that I like it when my boogers freeze.