Simply Primal - Annie Tries Again

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Post by Annieh on Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:18 am

I had an overgrown michelia tree outside my lounge window.  The roots were  lifting the concrete while the branches were encroaching on our path to one side, the neighbour's driveway to the other, and a flimsy trellis behind.  They were even growing above our roof and dropping leaves into the gutter.

This was one of the first trees my husband and I chose when we moved here more than 30 years ago.  It was not the best choice, but we didn't know that at the time and I grew to love it even as it grew out of hand. I loved its scented flowers and glossy leaves which screened us from our overlooking neighbours and filtered the morning sun so beautifully that I didn't need nets across the window.

Now I am sad because it's  been decimated. I knew I had problems, but now they are even worse. I can't believe I allowed the chainsaw man to attack it today and I doubt I can ever make it look nice again.  The  huge pile of mulch for my vege garden is little compensation.
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Post by Narrowminded on Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:36 pm

I’m so sorry about your tree. Praying you get it back into the shape you love once again. Hugs
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Post by perennialpam on Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:02 am

I also had a tree cut down about 2-3 weeks back that I felt bad about. It is totally gone and was a large tree when we moved in some 46 years ago. It, too, had caused years worth of damage to my roof. I miss it too but I did not plant it like you did.

I bet when it was planted you never really paid attention to its' possible growth. I went to a botanical garden in Pennsylvania quite a few years back and they had a display showing how far away from a tree (probably tree specific) roots can grow. It is outside the edges of its limbs. Was quite shocking.

Feel bad for you and your tree and the memories it has for you.
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Post by ONTARIO on Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:02 am

I'm sorry about your tree. I, too, tend to get attached to trees. They seem almost human with their growth and the comfort they provide. Maybe you could go together and choose a new tree you both love that better fits the yard.

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Post by Annieh on Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:49 am

Thank you all for your comforting words.  The tree still pains me, so I avert my eyes and choose to focus on the sunflowers and potatoes coming up in other parts of the garden.

We have had thunder and lightning and heavy rain but it all lifted for our tramp this week.  We had a plan in mind, but as so often happens, it changed on the day, this time because of a road closure.

Instead we drove to the end of a country road and obtained permission to cross a farm, bringing us to a favourite river which we have visited many times from the opposite direction.

We ventured into one calf paddock after another, and made random forays along the fence line to left and right. Behind a stand of trees we located a few orange markers leading towards the river, but the track petered out at a fallen ponga and we reversed our steps.

Finally, behind a different stand of trees, we found the very clear track to the falls.  We recognised it as one we had come up in the past. There was too much water to cross the river, so we ate lunch on the rocks, accompanied by a kingfisher among other birds.

This was only a short walk, so in the afternoon we visited an historic pa site (Maori settlement from 1350-1800) and  spent a pleasant hour or so exploring the terraces, whare sites, food storage pits, and the riverside.  They have been cutting some of the trees and leaving the stumps rings on the ground presumably to decay naturally.  I kind of get this, but it seems to me a waste of beautiful native timber.  Since the trees have been felled anyway, we should make better use of them than pure mulch.

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Post by tomi1000 on Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:33 pm

Beautiful!
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Post by ONTARIO on Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:38 pm

Wow, that is some scenery! It's breathtaking!

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Post by Narrowminded on Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:02 pm

What an awesome day!
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Post by Annieh on Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:19 pm

Spring weather is predictably unpredictable - some lovely days when I have been watering summer veges and spreading mulch in shorts and singlet, and then days like today when I have fished out my fluffy slippers and merino underwear, in between collecting bucketloads of rainwater from the gutters.

I have applied for a job that I think I want, trying to forget about it because applications don't even close for a couple of weeks.  I am trying to finish with the demonstrating, but somewhat to my surprise they are having trouble filling the post and so I agreed to do a few extra sessions.  

Meanwhile, I was asked at short notice to write some exams for a nursing student sitting her state finals on Tuesday.   I'm not sure whether the student has dyslexia or a broken arm, or some other disability, but I guess it doesn't really matter. I could tell they were desperate and particularly wanted me.  That's flattering, but I'm feeling a tad nervous and it's not even me that is sitting the exam!  I hope it pays well, as I had to cancel something else.
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Post by perennialpam on Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:56 am

Best wishes with your employment search.
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Post by Narrowminded on Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:15 am

Good luck with the nursing exam. Those are quite stressful for the students.

Hopefully this other job opportunity will pan out for you.
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Post by Annieh on Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:00 am

I saw two planets tonight.  It was quite fantastic.  I drove to the beach, after sunset - and then wished I had come a bit earlier as I only had a hazy idea of where the sun does in fact set.  

It was very cloudy on the horizon, but there was a glimmer of light in one particular direction, so I looked that way, while watching the seagulls gather for the evening.  As the light faded I still couldn't see any stars.  Then suddenly one popped into view.  It wasn't twinkling though and I decided it must be Venus.

As soon as I noticed it, I also noticed that it was sinking towards the horizon. Suddenly another one popped into view, a bit higher and it too began to descend.

They glided quite quickly towards those clouds and then one at a time they went behind the clouds and so I couldn't actually watch them set all the way.  There were still no actual stars in the sky - not that I could see anyway.  As I was driving home, I saw a first bright twinkling star come out overhead.  I'm not sure what this one was, I will have to do some more research and observation.

Today also featured another nature treat - observing a tui feed from the flax flowers by a carpark at polytech.  It first caught my eye when I noticed a flash of blue rush by me.  Then the tui landed on the flax right beside me.  I watched it for a few minutes, until a student walked past just that little bit closer and startled it away.  I think she was startled too, she hadn't noticed it either.


Last edited by Annieh on Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by perennialpam on Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:53 am

Oh Annie, one of my favorite delights is going down to the beach at night. Usually means much later than I hope for so I do not do it often enough. Do research as there are other objects to catch a glimpse of too.
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Post by Pedidoc on Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:05 am

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful event.
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Post by Narrowminded on Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:42 pm

Sounds just delightful. I need a beach. I’m too far away though.

Love how you describe nature. You really do have a gift for writing.
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Post by Annieh on Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:00 am

I located Matariki in the sky last night. This is the constellation otherwise known as The Pleiades. In order to find it, I first had to learn to recognise Taurus. Now I believe I can find them both, so I have doubled my star knowledge (which previously encompassed only the Southern Cross and Orion's belt).

Matariki is very pretty. To see it, I need only to step out onto my front path wearing my new glasses. The cluster of tiny stars is important here, its rise in June marks the Maori new year and then it is visible continuously until I think April, which is the end of the year. Or so I currently understand.
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Post by Pedidoc on Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:51 am

It must be beautiful to see the night sky with stars and planets.
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Post by Annieh on Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:46 pm

Well, yes it is Pedi, and something I am beginning to realise I have taken far too much for granted. I did know that you see even more and brighter stars in the countryside but when my DD came back from New York she had not seen the stars for a year. Until then I didn't know that millions of people have never even seen any. I'd always felt that there were just so many stars that I would not be capable of learning them. Now, it's like I have a responsibility at least to make an effort, even though my eyesight is not what I wish it were.
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Post by Narrowminded on Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:42 pm

Yes you are very lucky to be able to see so many beautiful stars. I’ve got too much light around my area to see many. I do see some, but not what I’d like.
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Post by perennialpam on Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:51 pm

Used to be able see the Milky Way in my backyard. No longer....for many years.

I have planted loads and loads of White Pines and Red Pines on my 1.5 acres. My DS's yard is connected to mine and we have both seen tracks and actual animals in the yard. Mostly deer, rabbits, squirrels and the other day he ran into a fox on his porch with the rabbit in its mouth.

I can still see stars, the trees did help somewhat hide the neighbors (new to me) 24/7 huge lights. I hate them but have learned to live with them....the lights, not the neighbors.

Annie, google and find out when the international space station is coming over and you'd be able to track it if it comes near you.

Glad you are enjoying it so. It is magnificent.
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Post by tomi1000 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:09 pm

What we can see in the city is nothing compared to what can be seen far from the city glow. It is awe inspiring to see the true beauty of the night sky. Central Oregon is a good place to go for that.
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Post by Meant2Move on Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:08 pm

I am surprised you can see the Pleiades or Orion, I would have guessed both were too far north. I am so fortunate to have a wonderful view of stars and planets at home, and even town, some are visible since we have a number of observatories here. We are designated as a "dark sky city" which means we have zoning that prohibits excessively bright lights. It does mean that driving at night can feel rather treacherous!

I hope the job hunt goes well.
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Post by Rig D on Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:12 am

Most of us live in or near urban areas and the city lights really mask what can be seen in the night sky It doesn't take much to mess up the view. I remember DW and I being in Hawaii in a remote area late at night and the number of stars visible was breathtaking, more than I had seen since being a little kid in Florida. DW is a city girl, born & raised in Atlanta and she was blown away with the sky scene, had never seen it before.
You are fortunate to have that available.
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Post by Annieh on Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:17 am

Matariki was tricky to spot last night and I can't really pick it out tonight at all.  I think the reason is haze from the Australian bush fires.  It is causing hot weather and nice sunsets, but not such clear views.  The saying goes, "no man is an island", but it seems even an island is not alone, our islands are definitely being affected by what's happening across the sea.


Most of my tramping is day walks, but I am growing a desire to be up on the mountain at night and watch the stars, that would be stunning and worth the effort.


We have a dark sky reserve in NZ too: https://www.backpackerguide.nz/what-is-a-dark-sky-reserve/  but I think just generally going to anywhere remote is fabulous.
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Post by perennialpam on Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:38 am

Annie, nice that you have the opportunity to go to that reserve.

We have an international Dark Sky park in northern MI. I have been there numerous times hoping for a northern lights display to no avail.

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