It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hate To Leave You Hanging

I'm sorry this picture is so fuzzy but in a way it rather fits. This is high up in one of our many many cottonwood trees on the Farm (high up and a small little camera is why it is fuzzy). The "cotton" hangs in great clumps awaiting a breeze to launch itself to swirl and swirl, up and down and up again and in and out and out and in our eyes and mouth and up our noses.

Cottonwoods, a member of the poplar family, love wet soils and is often found in riparian areas and boggy spots. So it is quite plentiful here.

It has little value, unless of course we were to install a paper mill. As firewood goes it would be better to just burn paper. Cottonwood maybe in the hardwoods but it is anything but hard. It takes forever to dry out, rather like that bacteria ridden sponge on your sink back.

Even if you get it to dry out so it will take a match you might as well sit back to enjoy the look of the flame because it is doubtful that you'll feel any heat from it. The heat it renders comes from wrasling with it because it does not split well at all because of the irregular grain, which also along with it sponginess also renders it rather useless for lumber save for pallets and such.

Oh, well suffice it to say they are here because they are here. And we have noticed them more this year than any other simply because we are enjoying the most unusual June for the Pacific Northwest ever. And trust me this is no complaint whatsoever!

What a friend of mine calls the "May-June Gloom" seems to have taken a break from us and gone somewhere else. So instead of a constant shower during the cottonwood bloom we have had nearly clear blue skies and only one or two showers that have only lasted an hour or two.

Consequently the outdoors looks as if it has snowed and it has even gotten into the house, the screen porch is socked in with fuzz nearly making the screen opaque. In the following pictures then don't be surprised if it looks as if it has snowed.

Another thing we found hanging 'round the farm is this lovely nest made by our little bushtits. We here the little bushtit family but they are one of many families of birds that we are only fortunate to hear but not yet see, or only see out of the corner of our eye.
But this nest is out in the open for all to see, well all of the observant at least. We had a good time surveying this nest and checking to see which family it did indeed belong to.
It is always exciting to see bird nests at the farm, it reassures a person that the birds are happily reproducing and the musical mornings will continue.

Someone else who was hanging around the farm is no longer hanging round a farm patrolled by faithful Rat Terriers. I know Dear Reader, how you love my upside down vermin and pests, so I couldn't leave for the day without giving you your weekly dose of yuk. But really you must see this fellows nose.

No wonder he can find our eggs, with a schnoz like that I'm surprised he didn't smell the Rat Terriers coming. The matted wet fur shows that whoever caught this farm marauder delighted in giving him a good chewing up. Good job gang.
Have a great day Dear Reader the girls and I are headed into town, Bet managed to get the first appointment with her doctor this morning so with coffee cup in hand I am off.
And Mildred, we will I am sure be looking for a cloche for Anna and her bird nest while we are in town today. Speaking of birds you'll never guess what the girls have now! Oh wait that is yet another story and I really must leave, so I guess I'll have to leave you hanging after all - Bye!


Far Side of Fifty said...

Lanny, Loved your photos.everything is hanging! That looks like a rat..whatever it is.. it is now a dead vermin..great hunting!
Our Popple..(Cottonmwood, Aspen, Poplar all members of the Willow family) ) whatever..does the same snowing..I can't remember if it is just the female trees that snow or not. It is rumored to have driven some of the pioneer ladies mad, because they did not have screen doors back then, and it would blow into their cabins. Can you imagine? You did a much better job of describing how worthless Popple is as a firewood, I call it "piss popple" as it just sits in a fire and weeps out both ends and is even lousy campfire wood.. up her they make tongue and grooved wall covering with it... probably it's only good use. Hope you have a great day:)

Mildred said...

Hope you three have a great day and I so hope Anna will join in the cloche party and display her birds' nests. I have a few tiny treasures that I think I am going to display under an inverted piece of crystal - an iced tea glass!

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

So, we shouldn't ask "How's it hanging?" then. ha ha ha! I'm always happy when our 3 doggies kill a varmint.

Hubby is "sick". He will be in a local hospital Wednesday getting kidney stones pounded (2nd time he's had to do this). Poor guy is in such pain. He's at the doctor as I 'pen' these words.

Susie said...

What kind of varmint is that pitiful looking thing? Ick!!!

Lawstude said...

uhm, i don't know what to say, i am not a fan of pests but i not a fan of killing them either, so i guess i am on the fence here lol. anyways, have a great day to you.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

One huge rat. Looks like the rat out of Ratatouie (sp).

CJ xx

Tipper said...

I liked this hanging post-neat idea! Although I didn't like the varmit much-yikes!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

wow i didn't know any of that cottonwood stuff lanny! interesting.

smiles, bee

fishing guy said...

Lanny: We also have the poplars around here and sometimes we are in a snowstorm. So that is why they call it a Rat Terrier.

LindaSueBuhl said...

Hooray for Ratters! they are good hunters given the opportunity - one of our dear ratters had a grudge against chipmunks (long story involving a chipmunk inside a house under renovation - nearly drove the dog insane). When we lived in the Colorado mountains and had an inn - tourists used to ask us if that was snow drifting on lawns and in the gutters - we'd look puzzled and ask "does it snow where you live when the temperature is 80 degrees and the sky is clear?" I know we should have been kinder but sometimes folks should wear their sign!

deedee said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I looked it up online - laburnum gold chain tree. I think you're right. Thanks! Oh and thanks for the vision of yuk - LOL

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

Those cottonwoods have left snow stuck to everything around here. Aren't they the ones that blow over is wind storms around here too?
That nest is really different from any other nest I've seen. I think the bushtits are about the cutest birds there are. We get flocks all winter here.

Daisy said...

The cottonwood sounds and looks pretty. That upside down dead critter does not! YIKES! I never know what I'm going to find here, Lanny. That's just one reason I like coming here. HA! Hope you are having a good week. :D

KathyB. said...

Glad you got the little weasel...hey, I hear tell there is a nice farm across the highway for our catch and release possum.....ponds, chickens and ducks,

It has looked like it is snowing out here, hasn't it? Pretty, but little cottonwood sprouts are popping up all over!

Karen said...

Oooh, we had a weasel once who came and got our baby chipmunk family. He was a meanie!

Eggs In My Pocket / Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Oh, my goodness.. I have never seen a cottonwood tree like that. We have cottonwood trees in Texas, but maybe they are non bearing, because all they do is make great shade. I also have never see a bushtit or it's nest! The little critter is so cute with that nose. I know he is a menace just like the bullsnakes are for me...but what a whimsical looking nose....perfect character for a childrens book perhaps? lol. blessings,Kathleen

Don said...

looks like you are still loving life!

I'm sure we have weasels roaming our woods, but I think our many barn cats keep them away?

I have read that they may kill an entire flock in one night! Yea for the terriers!

A. Joy said...

Lets not forget to mention how bad the cotton wood trees stink when being burned! So glad the only GIANT cottonwood tree around our place fell down in the big storm two years ago. You're right - that was a wierd looking big nose on that vermin. I wonder if he got made fun of in his circle of friends? Maybe he took a look in a mirror and thought he was a rat terrier?

Jennifer said...

My husband hates cottonwood trees. It gets in the back of our air-conditioners, plugs up the fan on the riding mower. He really hates them.

He does love rat terriers though! He had one when we met. What a weird, round pink nose that thing has!

LindaSueBuhl said...

Missing your interesting stories - of course I haven't been blogging because things are NOT interesting on Buhlaland. Love the update on Terriers and Tabbies - your girls are incredible.
Hope the summer is unfolding nicely - not like a roadmap with those weird folds but more like an elegant napkin.

Ralph said...

have had more cooton than usual here to. It is everywhere. Not to long ago I lost a ball on the golf course in all the cotton on the ground.

Daisy said...

Hi Lanny! Just stopping by to say hello and let you know I thought of you today. Hope you are enjoying your Sunday. :)

Tattie Weasle said...

I think it's a weasel but boy they look a lot bigger over with you than they do here in the UK. Had a set to with a ferret last year making a go of eating a hen and chicks. Lost teh chicks and landed up in hospital with a very nasty bite to my hand - well it was my fault I suppose I did pick it up but what else was I to do to protect the chickens?!

A Joyful Chaos said...

what a neat post! I would never have thought to do that with all the hanging things.

i have something for you over at my blog:-)

Cliff said...

We too are overrun with cottonwoods. Just two years ago we had 10 of them taken out. Most overhanging our house and yard. Most were well over 100 feet tall and 90 years old.
We had a weasel that size kill over 60 young chickens one night back in the late 90's. Vicious little killers they are.