Friday, July 15, 2011



Unicorn One has been pollinated! See the paper bags? There are 11 of them that I could see.

The nuts under these bags will be collected when ripe, and used to grow the next generation of Restoration Chestnuts. There are somewhere between 11 and 44 pollinated female blossoms in there, each blossom could make up to three nuts. So that's as many as 132 future trees here!

These nuts are developing higher on the tree. I don't know if these nuts are viable for growing new trees.

This is the American chestnut tree growing next to the Upper Charles Trail in Milford, MA. It turns out the Friends of the Trail group had already spotted the tree, but I guess they didn't know to pass the info along to the American Chestnut Foundation.

I feel like I have done something deeply good for humanity and the environment. :) Someday the wilderness will be full of these trees again, and I have now played a small part.

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Husband is Not a Tool

This is my husband Chris, standing in the community garden that he built. The garden was a team effort, but his involvement was pivotal. And now there it is, and there he is. Awesome, both of them.

He's hot, isn't he?

Now, let me explain the division of labor in our yard. Chris does the veggies. Lots of veggies. I do most everything else: the arid lawn, the swamp, the wooded paths, the flower beds, the oak tree that needed felling, the toddler play area, the meadows. Even the pile of rocks topped with cacti.

Everything in my domain is a mess right now. I have a three-month-old baby and an older child going through potty training. The lawn looks perilously similar to the meadows at the moment. A cottonwood tree is cracked and poised to fall onto the woodland paths. Every flowerbed needs weeding, every pot and transplant needs watering.

But the poison ivy is under control.

It so happens that the number one thing that brings people to this blog is information on poison ivy removal. I don't know why - perhaps it's just that time of year? A bumper crop of Toxicodendron radicans? - but I'm getting a lot of snotty anonymous comments on one of my older poison ivy removal posts. "Dump poison on it." "Hire a professional." "Hire a professional, like me! I pull poison ivy with my bare hands! And I eat it for breakfast!"

But nothing tops this:

"Have your husband do it."

Excuse me? My husband does not come to my rescue as I retreat in some prissy fashion from dangerous things. Poison ivy is my personal enemy, and I consider its control within our yard to be my obligation. My obligation. It is a vendetta that I carry out myself, with vicious, cautious, and thorough glee. My husband is my beloved equal, with his own worthy pursuits and his own lack of time. He is not some macho tool to be pulled from a drawer to solve problems at my whim with hairy chest and grunts.

Mister anonymous, your sexism is a contemptible relic. May garden gnomes rub urushiol in the tighty whities you have no doubt left lying on the bathroom floor. Go have a beer and watch a football game, instead of wasting my time editing up your messes.

In other words, fuck off.