My Old Tree
Junipers are amazing. Six feet from my front door is an ancient juniper. It is female and sheds small hard purple berries in season. They are the seeds the male junipers gas off visible clouds of (for some of us) noxious pollen to fertilize.
As controversial as my sex (Gay) life was (when I had one) it never gave everyone in the neighborhood cold or flu like symptoms to my knowledge.
I have stood on one of our frequent hilltops as fresh morning sun inched it’s warm wash through the valley below. As the sun rays moved across the hollow, tree after tree exploded its’ cloud of pollen release. It looked like a forest fire.
But it wasn’t.
When drought comes Junipers are the only tree I know that will give up a branch rather than die. `
If rabbits grow scarce our coyotes eat their fill of Juniper berries.
When I built my little compound major earth got moved and paving went in. “My” juniper was displeased and showed it. I built a giant earthen dam around its base and channeled a major part of the hillside rain water run off to the new tree well. The tree responded.
My intricate system of dams needs occasional maintenance. Weather, traffic and young digging dogs can breach them. The water happily returns to it’s previous course.
The juniper looked very sad this spring. A bit brown around the edges and dry dead needles patches here and there. Yesterday I re-dug the tree well, reinforced the dam and made the drainage serve it once again. I threw a handful of fertilizer brought the hose and gave it a good drink.
I was exhausted but delighted to have been able to serve this tree.
Last night I cracked a window before laying down. I could hear my Juniper softly singing.