Do trees have gender? I think they do, but I’m not sure. Hell, I’m no botanist. All I know is that the oak we lived under in Fort Wayne made beaucoup flowers in the spring — these pollen-y things that clogged the gutters and piled up on the porch — but no acorns. The oak we live under in Michigan made both. Especially acorns.
Every few days I must blow them off the driveway, because they imperil bike-riding and sound, when the cars roll over them, like the snapping of many small bones. But at night? Or when the wind blows, even a little? They rain down on the roof like missiles. I’ve stopped jumping a foot when they hit the skylights, although at night, when they rain down on the one in the bathroom, sleep is chancy.
If the squirrels ever figure out the weapons at their disposal, this whole neighborhood’s going to look like it was worked over with a ball-peen hammer.
Sorry for the late/lame-ass blogging this week. I’ve been wrapping up a few stories, and they’ve distracted me way out of proportion to their financial reward, but ah, such is the freelancer’s life. The last one was just sent away moments ago, and the little swoosh sound effect my departing mail makes as it leaves the outbox is the new sound of Miller Time, for me. I plan to wrap this up early, go watch Jon Stewart with all my fellow Americans and dedicate tomorrow to fiction-writing, an easy interview in the a.m. and maybe a few phone calls later.
And perhaps some blog-worthy blogging. For now I leave you with yet another clip from the inscrutable British papers: Catholic church no longer swears by truth of the Bible. Huh? When did they ever?
alex said on October 6, 2005 at 12:13 am
Of course trees have gender. Pot does, and though it’s an annual, it does grow into a tree. With pot they do selective breeding sorta like the Chinese, but only in reverse. Males are killed, females are prized as they grow big and fat and produce the bonanza of buds saturated with narcotic sap.
My oaks are probably hermaphrodites (and as far as I’m concerned they can go fuck themselves for all the messes they’ve made this year). The springtime flowery things turn into a dense mush that rots my roof if I don’t diligently shovel them off every few weeks with a driveway ice scraper. As for the acorns, I haven’t figured out what to do about those. There’s about equal parts acorns and walnuts on the ground right now, only the walnuts are inside these fat, hard green apples. The drive and the yard are simply buried. When I mow I see sparks and halved walnut apples and whole acorns fly out and now I’m seriously thinking about wearing goggles while mowing. The racket it made yesterday actually brought a tedious neighbor over to ask what the devil was going on. He talked my ear off while the last precious moments of light vanished beneath the horizon and the job didn’t get finished ’til today.
The drive I clear with a gas blower once weekly, but even that’s almost a lost cause when it comes to all the popping under the tires. Looks a tad tidier, though.
Connie said on October 6, 2005 at 12:27 am
Geez guys, don’t the squirrels gather the acorns? They did in Minnesota, where we had oak, hickory, and walnut trees in our yard. My husband once spent a fine Fall afternoon watching a mob of squirrels strip an entire hickory tree of nuts in a few hours. And those nasty squirrels liked to jump from the tree onto the roof over our bedroom (crash! bang!) and then run to the other end of the roof. Sounded like horses running across the roof in the wee hours of the morning. With of course the usual early morning chorus of crows in the woods across the street as an accompaniment. Ah, the peace and quiet of living in the country.
Dorothy said on October 6, 2005 at 8:08 am
Don’t forget the symphony of frogs in the springtime, Connie, when all the young men frogs are singing for the gals. ‘Course that was nighttime noise. We used to hear the deer making deer noises in the early morning, too. Occasionally we had woodpeckers hammering on the downspouts of our roof. And on top of all that, add the sounds of a border collie on patrol (our Domino) and a Golden Retriever (Atticus) barking back-up, we rarely slept past 6:00 am when we lived in the country.
OM said on October 6, 2005 at 9:25 am
Chancy, not chancey.
Jeff said on October 6, 2005 at 9:32 am
In aid of absolutely nothing other than why the news biz is so frustrating to be around, let alone to work for:
mary said on October 6, 2005 at 12:10 pm
Not only do trees have gender, the preference for the flowering gender by landscapers has been suggested by some to be the cause of the increased incidence of allergies.
Nance said on October 6, 2005 at 12:11 pm
Tnx 4 th splng fx. Fxd.
mary said on October 6, 2005 at 12:16 pm
Trees and gender and allergies…
Dick Walker said on October 6, 2005 at 1:16 pm
Ahh, the swoosh sound, which only mac users will appreciate. I LOVE it beyond all reason. Apple doesn’t actually have as good a mail program as Eudora, but until Eudora swooshes, forget it.
When I send a message via the swoosh, it seems like I’ve really done something.
mary said on October 6, 2005 at 2:38 pm
Here is how David Brooks column was listed in my email verson of the NYT:
Pillars of Cultural Capital
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: October 6, 2005
“Today, the crucial advantage for the rich is not that they possess financial capital, it’s that they possess more cultural capital.”
I couldn’t bring myself to pay for Times Select to read it. Anyone out there shell out for this?
deb said on October 6, 2005 at 4:42 pm
personally, as a catholic convert and a mother of two parochial-school kids, i’m delighted the church doesn’t insist we take every word of the bible literally. (this is one reason i strayed from my fundamentalist-protestant roots. well, that, and all those people speaking in tongues and exorcising evil spirits, but to tell those stories i’d need my own blog.)
my 11-year-old at this very moment is studying for a religion test that covers the creation myths, which is precisely what his textbook calls them. one of the thornier study questions: how can we believe in evolution AND the bible? short answer: the creation stories aren’t intended to be precise scientific explanations, but myths to give us a sense of the nature of god. works for me. pretty heavy shit to throw at 11-year-olds, though.
deb said on October 6, 2005 at 4:43 pm
p.s. for those of you who didn’t follow the link to that story, this sentence is priceless:
A Christian charity is sending a film about the Christmas story to every primary school in Britain after hearing of a young boy who asked his teacher why Mary and Joseph had named their baby after a swear word.