Monday, April 20, 2015

Northern Friends, Meet the Live Oak

Texas is one weird state. The lack of winter I expected. But I didn’t expect this: fall happens in March in Texas. For real.

Nothing fell in October, but we spent the whole two weeks before Easter raking and bagging the leaves in our yard. Forty-five bags of them. The live oaks drop their leaves in the spring right before they bud new ones.

“Live oak,” by the way, doesn’t mean the opposite of a dead oak. It’s a particular type of oak tree, and they are some of the coolest trees ever. The trunks grow all haywire in fascinating swirls around the yard. Many of them have trunks growing completely to the side, almost perpendicular to the ground after a while – growing toward where they find the most sun, I assume.

And they are HUGE. They must have remarkable root systems to support so much weight all leaning to one side. I look at some of them and think I’d be afraid to hang anything on even the largest of their branches because surely any extra pounds would send that thing crashing to the ground. But no. They stand strong for years and years.

We have several of these amazing trees in our yard. And as I noted before, they dump all of their leaves just in time to celebrate the Resurrection. So weird.

They also dump their pollen right about now. If you’ve never experienced such, it’s a sight. Yellow dusty stuff that covers EVERYTHING and gets people’s allergies all cranked up. We got the pine pollen in New Jersey; here it’s the oak pollen. Craziness.

But it’s not just the yellow gunk. The “flowers” fall off as well, and if I hadn’t already swept one layer of them up once, by now they would be covering our courtyard area (patio, table, chairs, grill, fountain, plus all the actual ground) with nastiness a half inch thick. Good heavens.
See how it's all leaning to one side? Crazy!

They clog up the fountain. I can’t even clean out the fountain until they’re done, so it’s just turned off for now.

And of course, it's been raining. On the positive side, that washed away a lot of yellow nastiness. On the negative side, the dried-up flower nastiness has been too wet to blow away.

I know – I’m whining. The truth is, the trees are beautiful and worth the mess once a year. At least I think so right now. A few more years of this and I may lose some affection for them, however.

Good motivation for me to continue teaching high school students. I’m bound to have a few someday who would love to clean up my yard for “extra credit.” ;)

1 comment:

Ona Marae said...

The "M"ystery of Creation. Capital M.