For some reason, iPhoto will not download any pix, so I can’t drop one in here for you today. Just as well. It was a crappy photo anyway.
On our last trip to Roundrock, Libby and I ventured over to Danger Island (which is not an island at present thanks to the drought and the ever-leaking bottom of my lake) to see how the pines were doing that we planted there in April. I had planted fifteen then, and I knew they would have to live or die on their own, that I wouldn’t be able to visit them with any regularity to water or weed them.
I had cleared the robust growth of scrub and grass from around them once, and the Libby wondered if that might have been a mistake, that it might have been shading the baby pines while they got their roots established. She may have been right.
When we made our census on that last trip, only six of the fifteen had survived. The other nine were brown and evidently dead. It happened that many of the brown pines were in the area I had more conscientiously weeded on that earlier visit. But a few were dead in the scrubbier area too, so I’m not making too much of that observation. It’s possible that I had simply pried apart enuf gravel in the wrong spot for some of these pines, that there wasn’t enuf soil to sustain them or hold any water. I can’t say.
We’ve had much more experience in the pine plantation at the former Blackberry Corner. In that bit of better soil we’ve probably planted more than fifty pines over the years, including ten more this spring in an effort to expand the area. I’m happy to say that those ten are doing just fine. I didn’t lose one of them. But a lesson we’ve learned from this effort is that some pines we had given up as dead had come back. I don’t know if this is even possible, but in a few of the cages we have there, we have two pine trees coming up. Each spring we would plant a new pine where an old one “died,” and I think some of those dead ones weren’t really kaput. So maybe some of the “dead” pines on Danger Island will return as well.
I told Libby that I wasn’t going to fight with the pines on the island anymore. They would live or die on their own. I’d water them if I had the chance, but I wasn’t going to replant them. That much was certain.
She said that didn’t sound like me talking at all. So now I’m already looking toward November when I can order more trees.