I have many Texas Live Oaks in my yard both front and back. The Latin name for this magnificent tree is Quercus fusiformis. I had to look that up as I haven’t a clue when it comes to the Latin names of anything. Just recently, I wrote a blog about the efforts by a company of tree trimmers that I had hired to cut back all of the dead limbs, and there were plenty.
Live Oaks tend to be very late with shedding their leaves or probably I should say, very early as where most trees lose their leaves in the Fall, the Live Oak sheds its leaves in the early Spring as the weather starts to warm up. This is followed immediately by a growth of new leaves to replace those that have fallen. Then the “Flowers” start to fall. which are pods about 1- 3 inches long that get into everything. These are pretty messy as they are usually accompanied by a whole herd of caterpillars which eat all of the new growth forcing it to start all over again. . The entire thing lasts for about a month. This is all perfectly normal for this particular tree.
However, this year it is different as the leaves are coming down much earlier than usual. This is because the very heavy frost and ice rain that we had that lasted for five days and nights, froze many of the leaves before their normal time. Consequently, we are suffering through an abnormal amount of leaves that are falling off the trees. Upon checking the trees themselves, there is a lot of brown up there still waiting to fall. My guess is that it won’t be finished until the new leaves grow late February and early March just as soon as the weather warms up. Then in the Fall, the acorns come tumbling down and they too, have to be swept up. This past year there were more acorns than I have ever seen before and if they were a forerunner of a bad winter, then that is true as what we have had so far, is the worst I have seen in my forty years of living in this State.
You know all of those leaves that I raked up in the Fall? Well now I can do it all again this Spring. Lucky me.
Today has been a funny old day
with things done along the way
I took time to view two peoples ponds
both different in why I went along
The first a very pleasant place
with Butterfly Koi sharing the space
not much else just a lily or two
and a waterfall to enhance the view.
I will return tomorrow the fish to catch
and put in my ponds so they can match
the Koi that I already own
to add more beauty to my home.
The other pond is different yet
advice is all they are looking for
and recommendations on what to do
in the hope the pond to renew.
They will need to drain their pond
adding the Koi to a separate tub
where they can stay as the work is done
of cleaning the mess of leaves and muck.
I explained the benefits for them
of joining with our little group
as members they can rent
the pond-vac and the storage tub
I left them with my best advice
and grateful were they for my choice
they know what to do and if they get stuck
I gave them the name of a man and his truck.
The view from my window though wonderfully green
has changed so much from things that were seen
before the seasons changed to Spring
are now no longer visible to me
as I cannot see through the leaves on the trees
so thick and new and beautifully green.
During the winter months with the leaves all down
I was able to see all through the grounds
to watch and see what was around.
like squirrels running from tree to tree
chasing each other away from the feed
put out for the birds in the form of seed.
The birds all gather in little flocks
before swooping in on the perches to feed
Goldfinches abound in their special way
with a dozen or more all at having their say
feeding and squabbling as they search for the seed
put out for them to satisfy their needs.
The Ring-Necked Doves come in threes and fours
trying to perch in places where they
are far too big and cannot stay
as with a fluttering of wings they scramble away
to settle in the trees and watch the show
before giving it another go.
I love this time of the year
with everything so green and new
with leaves so thick and growth so wild
and plants springing up where there were none
as nature performs her miracle of life
to make everything come back as one.