April 5, 2008

A day in the life of my oak trees

Posted in blogging, photography, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 8:38 pm by czygyny

————

Quercus lobata. One of the largest species of deciduous trees in California. Known as Valley Oak, California White Oak, or even Swamp Oak, this tree can get 70′ tall. 

—————-

One of ours is very old, rumored to be in an oak registry somewhere. We call her ‘Grandmother Tree’, the other three are somewhat younger, with a smaller diameter trunks, although one is even taller than the ‘Grandmother’. You can tell that she’s lost some whopping big branches over the years.

 

————————-

I love looking up into the trees, their thick, sinuous branches are heavily furrowed and textured, and adorned with moss on the prerequisite north side.

 

—————————-

Here, above, is ‘Grandmother Tree’ with Bear Mountain and some of my sheep in a pastoral evening setting.

———————

This tree, above, is a tall, skinny oak that had to compete with 300 eucalyptus trees around it, so it put all its effort into standing tall. It makes a good frame for a lovely sunset.

These trees are very special to enjoy. There are so many bird species that live and nest here; House finch, American goldfinch, Acorn woodpecker, Hairy woodpecker, Downy woodpecker, Lewis’ woodpecker, White-breasted nuthatch, Orioles, Western kingbird, Red-shouldered hawk, Yellow-billed magpie, Brewer’s blackbird, Black and Say’s phoebe, White-crowned, Golden-crowned and Song sparrow, various warblers, and those nasty Starlings. Great-horned and Screech owls visit, too.

The downside to living underneath these silent giants is their pesky habit of shedding very large limbs, on occasion. They are just as likely to drop them in the summer as in winter, and we have had some close calls with the barn and house. As well, is the constant leaf and twig litter, and in a good year, acorns are dropped so thick that walking on them is much like walking on ball bearings.

—————–

This tree, above,  was the least healthy of the four. Years ago, someone built up a driveway to get to the barn and covered the trunk of this tree about 3 to 4 feet deep. This is a death sentence for such majestic trees. It had already begun to die back when we moved in, so we excavated the soil around the base and built up a dry well with discarded concrete pieces.

The experiment was a success, and even provided a bit of flood control, as you can see. The rain soaked in quickly and left the flare of the trunk open to the air and slowly the tree has regained its health.

I am so pleased to be a steward to such fine trees. Such richness of local wildlife, picturesque modeling and darned good shade in the summer!

.                                           

Advertisements

3 Comments »

  1. leafless said,

    Oak trees are the special kind because they last a very long time. The trees bear witness to many seasons and generations. This post just gave me inspiration to write a little story about old trees and memories.

  2. czygyny said,

    It pleases me to know I have inspired you, I look forward to reading your story.
    I am creating an album in my Webshots images of the interesting trees I have come across. I am going to included the series of shots of one of the ‘peers’ to the trees on my property that stands across the creek, that is in the process of ‘returning to dust’. It’s bleached and scattered limbs amongst the greening grasses reminds me of a whale long since beached.
    http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/563069039KpNToB?vhost=outdoors

  3. LitaV said,

    I absolutely am awe inspired by some of your shots, but I really love your attitude and energy even more!

    PET
    Positive Energy Transcends!
    LLLL
    Living Large Loving Loud!
    TC
    Take Care

    Lita


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: