My Old Tree

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. 


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24 Responses to My Old Tree

  1. Cindy says:

    sharing this on facebook. your juniper is appreciative, of that i’m sure. =)

    • osolynden says:

      What is wonderful Cindy… is being ABLE to do such things again. I knew this task was needed for a long time but wasn’t up to the job. Replaced my ornamental plum this spring too….

      Hey thanks for sharing this to FB. The more the merrier. Hugs kiddo.

  2. maks says:

    It’s just finished summer here so I’m starting my spring cleaning early. You inspired me!

    • osolynden says:

      I am slowly adjusting to the antipodean reality…


      You’d never know it was mid April here Maks. Not today. We hit 23 below F this morning and I got out my big fuzzy hat with the ear muffs for Mr. Little’s walk. I still managed to reset an Iris bed and re-pot a cactus.

      Love ya.

      • drmanhatten1 says:

        Almost May and we are going to have highs in the low 60’s this weekend in the Sunshine State, almost 90 today though.

        The pollen release of the Junipers sounds pretty cool, nothing like wonders of nature first thing in the morning.

        • Hey Doc. We are all over the map with our weather. My friend Mel Avender wrote me this about our weather/ temp plunge:

          “guess it won’t be a lilac year after all. ahhhh …. good news for advocates of the annual Freezing of the Blossoms Festival”.

          He’s a funny guy.

  3. Some of our favorite camping spots are in ancient juniper groves. Nothing like getting coated in juniper pollen first thing in the morning. Ahh, nature’s cologne. Sticks onto everything and doesn’t come off until you wash it off or it rains. Whichever comes first.

    • Here in the west the washing usually comes before the rain…. 😉

      By next week it will be solar shower bag season…

      I like that (shower bag season) better than the month long festival of the Iris…

  4. Ishbel says:

    I love to use juniper berries when I cook venison. And, of course, it’s part of the distilling process for gin – my favourite tipple.

  5. Gotta love junipers! I’ve been trying to get my hands on some for years now. We’ve got a few cherished cedars out our way. I’ve tried to transplant their saplings, but they don’t seem to respond well to being moved from their chosen spots.

  6. thomassparky says:

    When I think of Juniper berries, I think of Gin and tonic! I like Gin and tonic with a touch of lime!

  7. HI there. Finally feeling little better. Have good news, it’s dairy causing mayhem not cancer. Doing way better now on a gluten free vegan diet. But I refuse to give up my honey. The three new lumps are shrinking already.

    Now on topic, I love love the way you live coexisting with nature and using natural elements of the area you live.

    Make sure you Jupiter has plenty of ground cover to help hold moister in underneath. That helps mine.

    Now off topic again….my new adventure. We’re making sandbag house in combination with cypress or cider cabin. I want a masonry wood cookstove. And my dream is for a natural pool this year..YEAH BABY YEAH!!! I will be posting about it soon.

    Natural Pools – Natural Pool self-build

  8. I think a little sinus discomfort serves you right, looking up the skirts of innocent trees trying to determine their sex…is nothing sacred? 😉

    • osolynden says:

      Answer? No, nothing is sacred. Not even cows. On the other hand everything is sacred. It all depends on how shiny your shoes are and how tight you wear your jeans…

      You funny… 😉

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