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A Summer Blog, part thirty-seven

Friday, August 24, 2018

A beautifully cool morning, but not so cool that sitting in the shade before the sun reached the deck was uncomfortable. Not many birds are out and about this time of year, though a jay seems to be exploring the area for a winter haunt. Some of the leaves on the cottonwood trees are showing a trace of yellow. It seems early, but happens every year around this time. The cottonwood above the deck had some yellow last week and that branch is obviously dying. The cottonwood is a natural “shedder” with small to medium branches dying, losing their bark and falling during storms. The cottonwood over the deck is no exception and her tresses are full of snarls and tangles. I wish I could brush them out, but unfortunately she is on the side of the river and unreachable except by a daredevil with a chainsaw. Those branches that I can reach, I pull off. This cottonwood must have nine lives. When we moved here twenty years ago, someone had been dumping slash against her side for a long time. She had rotted where the slash was touching. We cleaned out the slash and she healed herself. About seven years later, she was attacked by a beaver that chewed halfway around her trunk in one night. I figured she was a goner, but wrapped chicken wire around the trunk and hoped for the best. Again she survived and has been sharing her shade, bird nests and cotton with us ever since. Perhaps I could do without as much cotton, but the shade and bird nests are priceless.
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