The mourning doves don’t make that mourning cooing sound when you come up on them and they are surprised. Rather it’s a staccato exhalation, which, matched with their loud wing flapping sounds like a crazy child’s bicycle, teetering off. It’s summer now. The canopy could be something from a rain forest with all the creepers and vines competing for the sun. Down on the trail I can’t see anyone, but people talk aloud as if they were all by themselves. There are clouds overhead and I’m glad. When they broke a moment ago the sun cut through mercilessly.
I’d identified a sassafras tree the other day down near the trail head. Today I was determined to transplant it up to the yard. The last time I did this with some Trembling Aspen down near the same spot, I moved six young trees up and there’s only one I can say currently looks to be alive. I took a look on-line and considered the basics on sassafras planting. Glad I checked a second source as it drew my attention to the fact that the sassafras has a long tap root to be mindful of.
This plant was only a bit more than a foot high with half a dozen well-formed leaves. When I went down to look it over and clear away the many weeds around it, I noticed a sturdy stem from an earlier tree with an inch-wide radius and tracing the smaller new stem down it became clear that this was growing off of the earlier trunk. Compared to the rocky soil in my yard it was easy enough to dig a ring two-foot diameter ring around the base and largely free the little plant up easily enough. The turf would not lift up completely though and it became clear that it was indeed held in place by a long tap root which I pulled out for as long as I could before I inadvertently cut it about two feet out. It’s in a bucket with soil and mulch and water just now. Let’s see how this sassafras does in the next little while, before I dig up a hole in the yard and commit to placing him in it.
I wasn’t familiar with Conlon Nancarrow. Were you? The list of twentieth century composers I’ve been sampling from has him listed just after John Cage. Following the music of John Cage, who I was listening to yesterday, Nancarrow, known for making music by manipulating player pianos, sounds comparatively melodic. I was up at the Walkill bridge today trying to photograph what turned out to be a Slippery Elm, with “Contraption No. 1” from his “Lost Works, Last Works” release choreographing my mysterious activity to, while an innocent older couple were biking by, when the album shifted to interviews with the artist. Born in Arkansas, he fought in the Spanish Civil War and ultimately became a Mexican citizen, in 1956. In the first interview, he described what it was like to find a player piano company in the Bronx in 1947 from which he contracted to have fashioned his own hole punching machine. A great accent that sounds like his compositions, formed in another era.