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Monday, October 14, 2013

News From The Woody End



This past week or so has been devoted to seeing Summer out. We have, according to California's Chamber of  Commerce, "Summers of joyous warmth".  Indeed, the warmth was so joyous in our yard two big trees died of it. I've been cutting them down and bucking them into firewood but it's slow going. Hoodle is still out there --Hoodle is the hawk that got born back in February-- and watches me sternly from a fenceline treetop.

He tells me it is I who am slow-going, not the work, and I should leave his tree alone. How Hoodle can articulate all that in his only word --"hoodle!"-- is a great enigma. He is right though. It has been over a week and I'm barely half-done. But I am of an age where visits slow me. We had house guests and they stayed in rooms off Norma's end of the back porch. Her porch-end is not like mine. There's no washing machine or philosophical instruments in it, just a chair hung with rolled yoga mats and a view of morning sun, or an atomic bomb blast --both look alike to me.
Also, she dusts it. It is unfortunate I was outdoors instead of in there because I needed dusting badly this week.

So I have taken a break from lumberjacking this morning. I am in Norma's porch having coffee and collecting thoughts for future essays. One thought is about my adventures in the Woody End, cabling 60-foot trees to ratcheted come-along levers so they fall right, then running in sheer terror anyway when they do. I also collected some ideas about thought and quantum mechanics, which is another essay --one I shall discuss with Hoodle and get to after I have got dusted.
 

37 comments:

  1. Quantum mechanics is incredibly interesting.

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    1. More interesting than I can imagine, but I try.

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  2. There is much wisdom in birds of prey. Those eyes - they know so much we don't.

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    1. Hoodle has been with us some months and left his awkward stage in the first one. He's now hardwired into the universe and I'll relay your compliment to him.

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    2. Please do. He must have well-formed opinions about you and your wife by now, too. He obviously trusts you if you see him regularly. We have a fairly faithful barred owl - at least I'm pretty sure it's always the same one. She doesn't talk to us, though - just watches.

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  3. This piece brought back many sweet memories, first and foremost being of my father, who was 72 at the time, coming some miles to my new home in Santa Cruz and applying ropes as guy wires and cutting down and splitting into short logs some six trees that were at the back of my new place, so I could have enough sunlight for a vegetable garden like the ones he had made for our family for so many years at our place in Larkspur. Thanks, Geo. for this lovely piece!

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    1. Will, I of course remember your father and his beautiful garden up Arch Street, and your cheerful Santa Cruz yard. He must have been in excellent shape to clear and buck trees at 72, and a helpful father. I hope I shall be as useful to my kids at that age.

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  4. Oh my. A resident hawk? Jealous thoughts about your privileged status.

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    1. E.C., Hoodle started out as such a silly, hysterical creature and grew quickly into a graceful and serious hawk. His birthplace is now his base of hunting operations --an honor and service he confers upon us. Privileged indeed.

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  5. I love that bookshelf in the picture Geo. It doesn't surprise me that you two are voracious readers :)

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    1. Books are essential to our wall-insulation too.

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  6. I love the porch...so much of life in one tiny space. Say hello to Hoodle for me.

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    1. Will convey your greeting to Hoodle, even though he looks like he disapproves of me today.

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  7. You're very brave to be cutting large trees with a hawk watching you. Hawks are never pleased with lumberjacks. Hoodle might loose his noodle and decide to attack. (am I trying to be funny??).

    It's wonderful that your Chamber of Commerce can boast of "joyous warmth".
    My dusty west Texas town can be described as "Absolutely joyless"......or perhaps "Joyless forever".....

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    1. I have nothing to fear as long as I'm bigger than a field mouse --a California field mouse. I don't know what Texan hawks eat, but Chambers of Commerce are uniformly given to exaggeration.

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  8. My observation about growing older is that I can do everything I did when I was 30, it just takes me considerably longer.

    Self-delusion is the God-given right of the aging male. I admire the moxie of felling trees yourself. LIke stripping and shingling my own roof, that's a task I've now bequeathed to others.

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    1. Indeed, felling trees and repairing roofs, no matter how simple the job, both threaten to become a way of life.

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  9. I don't think I've ever heard such a wonderful name for a bird. :-)

    Pearl

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    1. Hoodle named himself in a bout of fledgling panic. Probably best we let our parents name us.

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  10. Listen to Hoodle, he means well.

    Atishoo! Did someone shake out a duster?

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    1. Much of my allergy control consists of never shaking out a duster.

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  11. I wish someone would dust at my house. Completely leaving myself out of the equation.

    Quantum mechanics sounds difficult.

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    1. Dusting is difficult too. It creates clouds of virtual particles that are hard to navigate without sneezing.

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  12. A room with a washing machine is a perfect place to study quantum mechanics, especially when it starts to shake across the floor.

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    1. Our washer behaves as both wave and solid simultaneously too.

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  13. Yoga, huh? Wonder if that's why the sun looks the way it does.

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    1. I don't know. Norma's done Yoga for many years but I can still look directly at her without squinting too much.

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  14. Geo, it's always so delightful to visit you.
    Love the name Hoodle.

    Sorry to hear about the trees you lost.
    We planted in the spring and it did well but has now met its demise, made me sad.

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    1. Thank you, Margie. I too delight in your visits. Keep planting trees and you too will hear birds naming themselves!

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  15. Our own delightful Summer heat has scorched many of our citrus trees and ferns. Delightful, indeed.
    It is October, after all.

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    1. Indeed, gardening teaches us it is not pride but ferns that goeth before a Fall.

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  16. Our daughter once had a pet rabbit, upon which she bestowed some innocuous name or another. Fluffy, maybe? Can't remember for sure, because all I ever called it was Hoodles, because all that critter did was eat copious amounts of food at one end and drop copious amounts of hoodles out the other. So it's a bit of an adjustment for me to associate what was for me an I'm-sick-of-cleaning-up rabbit-poop name with your soaring majestic hawk...

    LOVE that porch.

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    1. Ha! Susan, that's delightful! Our daughter had a long-haired rabbit named Mop who spun round in the air while peeing. We kept Mop outside in his own rabbitat. But I love exploring the etymology of Hoodles. It's not a word I'd heard 'til I met the hawk.

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  17. Dear Geo.,
    what a lovely, lovely room! Yes, seasons are changing, here too. Though I have no trees on my balcony, but lots of thirsty plants - which now remind me to put them to bed in a few days before cold autumn nights come. They throw a bit of dust too (bought a fabulous brush-broom made out of oh so soft goat hair yesterday (my hairs were standing up seeing the price) - will use it for the parquet of our big rooms - see more fun in it than in the hoover (though sometimes one needs it too.)

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    1. Thank you, dear Britta. Indeed, when I come indoors from tree work I'd much rather be dusted with a soft brush-broom than hoovered.

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  18. Hoodle is a good name for a hawk, and would also work for an owl. I'm glad you left his perch for him, although I completely get the need for firewood. We have 2 wood-burning devices & feeding them is something you have to think about ahead of time.
    I love that pink porch & wonder what color a philosopher chooses to paint his end?

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    1. Thank you Kerry. Not a philosopher; gardener. Painted my end green.

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