Eight years and growing

The Bluecircle has reached that age where it’s no longer a baby.  The last two years have been free of drought and wind damage, so some pines, oaks and maples are reaching their “teens” in height while the poplars tower far above. 

Tulip poplars that line the pathway from N. Watervliet Road will shade it in the next year or two.  At the edges black walnut trees spread by busy squirrels are slowly overtaking wild sumac and briars.  With nearly 50 walnut seedlings or 7-year trees in the farm plantings the ground will soon be thick with nuts.

Red oaks produced a few dozen acorns this year, as did both the chestnuts and English walnuts.  The mature white oaks had heavy loads of acorns and the local squirrel population is large, fat and fearless.  

Hickory seedlings were added this year to round out the nut menu for future wildlife.  There are no picture of the BC apple orchard that has struggled.  Of the original 9 seedlings only 7 are standing.  Three of the founders lost their “appleness” grafts and survive only as rough peach rootstock so this year they were replaced with pot-raised transplants.

The latest addition was a small bat house over the watchtower, a platform crafted from remnants of gazebos and old lake docks.

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Gallinipper rain

mi sunsetA summer came and went after the last post here, fading like the sun over Lake Michigan in August.  Soon the greens of the Bluecircle will evolve into their own annual sunset.

For the most part these have been wet, hot months.  Groups of  25 new Norway spruce, sycamore and black walnut seedling have fared well and most twigs of sugar maple have also survived.  Conditions were good for conifer growth so farm “anniversary” photographs a few weeks from now will show some rows of trees closed, their branches  too dense for the lawn tractor to pass.   This writer will not be sorry when “mow again” can be removed from the weekly agenda.

skeeerThis gallinipper (psorophora ciliata) was likely a product of the plentiful rains that frequently left standing water near the lake.  Fortunately these extra-large mosquitos are not as common as the tiny pests that buzz at DEET and even follow you indoors.