Time Is Short and Flying Fast


| 3/10/2016 9:39:00 AM


Tags: Time, Orchard, Pruning, Late winter, Grafting, Andrew Weidman,

Andrew WeidmanSage

I am always amazed at how quickly time can get away from you, especially at the end of winter. For the past three months, outside work has been at a standstill. First the Holidays kept us busy, and cheerfully so. Then, winter crushed the landscape in full force, bringing cutting winds and subfreezing temperatures, ice and snowfalls, one of which carried a record-breaking 31 inches of the white stuff. Later, winter softened its grip and temperatures eased enough that I could begin planning my late winter maintenance tasks at Life in the Fast Lane.

Espalier

There are some tasks that need to be done in the winter, when everything is dormant. Fruit trees need to be pruned before they quicken into bloom, but they cannot heal cuts made when the wood is frozen. Scion wood needs to be gathered for future grafting to make new trees and preserve antique varieties. Cuttings of small-fruit bushes must be gathered in the proper time to allow for shipping to trading friends across the country. And all this needs to happen before the Forsythia blooms, heralding the start of the lawn care season and time to spread corn gluten meal. But that’s another task, and another tale.

snow

I live situated along the East coast flyway of thousands, maybe millions, of Canada geese, Snow geese and Tundra swans. Some Canada geese stay here year-round; there are two different hunting seasons for them here, resident and migratory. Before you ask how a hunter is supposed to know whether the goose he’s sighting in on is a migrant or a resident, I should tell you that resident season is scheduled before the migrants arrive. Someone asked me just that question once; sarcastically thinking it was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard — until he heard how it works. All he had to say then was, ‘Oh, I guess that makes sense,’ before quickly changing the subject.




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