Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Needle fall

It's wonderful to live in an forest of evergreens in winter. Though our deciduous trees are now bare skeletons, the ponderosa pines retain their everyday deep green.

However, if you look carefully at any cluster of needles, you will see that there are always a handful that are brown and dry. Which fact brings up another characteristic of our pines: no, they don't loose their leaves in the fall. No, they are evergreen -- and ever-shedding. All it takes is a half day of strong winds in any season and we have a major needle fall (below).

Covering the ground. Making the sidewalks slippery. And producing the one good reason I've discovered for a leaf blower: how else can one uncover those beautifully landscaped river rocks above?

Our little street now has patches of needle fall (above), much of it quickly worn down by passing automobiles (below). In our Arizona mountain forests, which are dry much of the year, the pine needles pile up inches to more than a foot deep over a period of years, producing a duff tinder just waiting for a lightening bolt or tossed cigarette to set the world on fire.

From the Link Lady: First the local -- Rich caught the downtown Christmas lights on a cold night this past weekend; better him than me freezing at the Square! And we have a new Prescott Daily Photo, currently focusing on the major features of our town. Moving down into the warm country, you might like to visit Kim who is documenting her historic neighborhood in Tucson. A different kind of documentation: Sweasel, your atypical American girl, has just moved herself to Sussex and is reporting on those strange cousins of ours, the Brits. For your handyman edification, Google has now scanned 100+ years of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. Finally, a feast for the eyes and the soul: an Advent calendar featuring spectacular Hubble space photographs.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!

The Hubble Advent Calendar is... [ I'm lacking words ]!!

Wow!

~Anon in AV.

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

How about bark-fall?? In our back yard are three, once little (35 yrs ago) now huge (50/70 ft) eucalypts and about this time each year their bark begins to split and eventually fall--most in our yard, but much, over the neighbourhood. Even though we (our trees) provide copious m3 of O2 we are a tad unpopular.

hermano

worldphotos4 said...

Our pine needles are easier to clean up than the leaves. However, when you have trees, there is always something to do. Unless it snows and covers them up.

Sally said...

Don't forget the next BGR plant carnival, Granny J! Invitation at Foothills Fancies. Hope you'll send something! This post is a good prospect. I hear they're good for strawberries, as a mulch.

Xav. said...

hello! Your blog is nice ....
Would you exchange a link with my site?

http://follerumba.blogspot.com/

Ciao ciao from Italy

Catalyst said...

Love your links, GJ!

You Know Where You Are With said...

I'm sort of wondering if those needle-covered river rocks are actually my old driveway...is that at the corner of Apache and Coronado? By the little bungalow? If so, that was our first house in Prescott, and we put those river rocks there directly under the Ponderosa pine.

Granny J said...

anon av -- aren't those pictures just!

bro -- arf yourself! Does that bakr make good mulch?

steve -- Right now (and for the next year), I don't have to do much, leafwise because of the big uphill brush thinning & chipping, preceded by my boy grandchild kindly cleaning out my own pine duff of many years.

sally -- thanks for the invite. Unless I do a real spectacular on the sycamores, I'll enter this in the Berry Go Round. And everybody else: do visit Sally re: the plant carnival.

xav -- I'll go take a look-see & make a decision! If you're a strictly commercial location or a p0rn site, nope. Neither fit my niche.

cat-A -- Great! I keep coming across fascinating places to visit -- the web is just too, too fascinating!

Granny J said...

OK, Xav -- you pass the test, though a post about cars is the next best thing to p0rn for a lot of readers! Nest time I add to my blogroll you will be on it...

Granny J said...

ykwyaw -- close, but no cigar! The stonework is at a house just down the street from me & is only a couple of years old.

meggie said...

You reminded me of all the pine trees of my childhood, when we went to the beach. How thick the needles were, & how slippery! It was easy to fall over when rushing too fast through the needles. I did love the smell of the pines then.

Granny J said...

meggie -- pine needles at a beach sound like they could be a lot of fun, tho very strange. Our ponderosa bark smells like vanilla whiskey...

 
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