Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Room With a View

This has nothing to do with one of my favorite movies (Room With A View*) but rather the view that I have as I sit in our study at my desk/computer.  Ever since Fran, the hurricane that devastated our neighborhood in Raleigh in 1996, whenever I am at my desk and look out the window I see a very tall loblolly pine across the street leaning towards the neighbor's house.  That tree has been leaning for 19 years. 

This morning I was awakened by chain saws buzzing and much to my surprise the loblolly pine was being removed.  It was amazing watching the highly-skilled tree crew fell this tree.  One guy scampered up the tree tying a safety rope and then other ropes that would guide the falling top in the right direction.  After sawing off the lower limbs the top of the tree came down in one big swoosh.

They finally came back late this evening and cut down the main trunk.

The view from my window with the leaning pine gone.

And though I now have a much prettier view, I will somehow miss that old leaning loblolly.

*Here's a review from the NY Times showing a trailer for the movie Room with a View.  If you haven't seen it, I'm sure it must be available on Netflix.  It's a very good movie based on the novel by E.M. Forster with a splendid cast including: 
Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Judi Dench, Daniel Day-Lewis
Room with a View

Monday, October 5, 2015

English Ivy in Bloom

Ivy in bloom.  (Notice the bee gathering pollen or nectar. 
 I was gadding about in the yard this morning (yes my gadding about is limited these days)  and noticed the flowering English Ivy.  Our front and side bank at our house is covered with English Ivy, and while many consider this plant a weed, I really like the plant.  It does have to be kept under control though.  It tends to grow up tree trunks and will ultimately cause damage to the tree if not removed.  The plant is able to climb by producing roots all along the stem. 
Our bank of English Ivy.
Ivy creeping up the tree trunk. (I'll have to get this removed soon.)
Roots along the stem that allow the plant to climb and adhere to a surface.
Flowers occur in heads. 

It is only the mature branches that will produce flowers.  Out front we have a patch of Ivy that is in flower right now.
Patch of flowering ivy.

The flowers that occur in clusters have greenish yellow petals. 

English Ivy flower arrangement in our kitchen window.

I sometimes bring in branches to use as flower arrangements.