Arbor Day 2020

Tree seedlings from Wisconsin’s Chief River Nurseries arrived today on a cool, damp Arbor Day to join the peas, leaf lettuce, radish and spinach already sprouted in the gardens.

Planting the hickory seedlings with a tree spade took only a few minutes, best described as putting sticks in the grass (budded end up, of course).

The hemlock and fir seedlings were more heavily rooted but still amenable to tree spade planting. Since that was the approach recommended by the nursery they too were “spaded in”, leaving a signature divot a few inches from the stem. Hemlock planted here a few years ago have grown rapidly and are now over eight feet tall. The new hemlock will fill thin areas along the south edge of other plantings.

This will be the first season for the blue-green concolor firs. In a few weeks they will be joined by a some Douglas fir seedlings to improve the balance between pine, spruce and fir.

A 10-inch concolor fir seedling in its new Bluecircle home


The Circle’s blue fairie house

Tax day again brings the last shrouds of winter snow to the rising buds of Spring. It’s a time of transition needing both parkas and jackets, boots and sneakers by the front door. The still leafless woods stand snow-clad while wild roses show a little green and early rising flower stems are nearly blanketed.

This is the season that brought the blue fairie home to the farm. Today her house is roofed with the last, fleeting snowflakes but tomorrow it will be bathed in sunlight. The cottonwood stump beneath it serves as a reminder of the cycle of growth and returning that inspired the Bluecircle’s name.

Blue light streams from the house at night, brighter than the stars but like them a cool, silent witness to the passing days and years. There is no music at this place of memories save a distant chime that speaks on windy days. Like all butterflies, the small one that rests on the faire’s toe is silent.