Sycamore Tree

Sycamore Tree 02We decided to cut down a Sycamore tree that I planted 25 years ago… after we finished the reno on our storage shed by the garden. It was one of those expensive purchases of a landscape tree costing a wopping $60 in 1995. That is a lot to a single mom’s budget. I really loved this shade tree cooling our mobile home over the years. A Sycamore is actually a gorgeous hardwood tree that grows quite large, with lots of big green leaves and is perfect for shade in yards and parks. However, if you have even a slight allergy to it’s pollen it can make life quite miserable. It became a real chore to mow the lawn under it. You would start coughing as soon as you started mowing and then experience a sore throat with swollen eyes, and coughing for a couple of days after, even if you used a mask and eye coverings. I could not figure it out.

Sycamore Tree 01I had an art show in a downtown garden show where the booth next to me had a professional tree trimmer. I happened to mention to him how irritating the mowing under our Sycamore had become, and the guy laughed. He said that whenever people wanted Sycamore’s trimmed the price went up and his crew was required to wear a full suit to prevent respiratory and skin irritation associated with them. That was shocking but reassuring at the same time. Finding that out 2 years ago, has had me thinking that tree maybe wasn’t such a good idea. When I looked up at the buds on the tree limbs this spring I told Pete that I had enough of the allergy stuff. So, we decided to go ahead and take it down.

Sycamore Tree 03Check out the massive root system. Taking this tree down as a project had a comedy show of I N T E R E S T I N G events attached…. really. Honestly, I’d tell you about them but then I’d have to kill you. Internet BS is not allowed for this top secret event, so, you’ll have to come see in-person to get the story on the rest of this adventure.

Here is a link to more information about Sycamore trees if you are interested. Pay attention to the problems paragraph a few paragraphs down.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/sycamore/sycamore-tree-care.htm

 

Winesap Apple Tree

This tree was trimmed back drastically year before last year after damage in a wind storm and last year had no apples. Here are the first apples coming in this year, less than a dozen, but absolutely heavenly! Sometimes the wait is worth it. Can’t wait till we have a full crop next year…

I can smell the applesauce, bubbling on the stove. The cinammon throughout the house with the apple cider stirring. Oh, and don’t forget the heavenly scent of Pete’s pies… apple pie, Yummmm. Washington State has the worlds best apples! I love them.

Winesap ApplesWhat are Winesap Apples?

These are kind of medium sized fruit fitting in the palm of your hand. They are solid skinned with firm sweet/sour honey flavored white or slightly yellow flesh. They are red with yellow/green stripes on the outside. When you sit them on the table they don’t sit perfectly straight as they are a little unevenly grown with the stem kind of off center. They are superb apple pie fruit and tasty lunch partners anytime! If you’d like to learn more about these kinds of apples check out this Apple site.

Seven Hummingbirds #03

Now the color begins!

I start to carefully add light washes as I grow the vines around the tree. My  job is to layout where the vine and blossoms will grow around the branches fitting around the hummingbirds without distracting from them. There needs to be  plenty of the birght orange and red honeysuckle blossoms for the birds to be getting their nectar from.  begin washes I know it is hard to see from this faraway shot so I am adding close ups to help with seeing the details.

Lower section. putting the vines with it’s blossoms, all the leaves, helps me to see the hummingbird action better.

lower section

Middle section. The birds are able to be more formally rendered in the sketches as I get the foliage going. It is all a flexible and creative journey.

middle section

Top section, I love the freedom of growing my vine as I go. this drives some artists crazy but I love it.

top section