Still More Lion Than Lamb

“Dad?” “Yes?”  “There are a couple of branches down in the backyard.”  “OK, I’ll look at it in a minute.”  Mr. Blandings was testy.  He was helping me hang shelves in the playroom when our oldest called up the stairs.  Actually, he was hanging shelves and I was helping, which really means I was telling him exactly where the shelves should go and then getting snippy when he started talking about studs and bolts and details that I did not find all that interesting.

Once we’d reached an agreeable compromise (perhaps a quarter of an inch was not as significant as I had originally supposed) we pulled aside the shade to assess the damage in the backyard.

I’d like to say we were having an unseasonable snowfall.  It’s not usual for us to have snow this time of year but it happens.  Saturday started out cold and rainy, progressed to freezing rain and sleet and then rounded out the day with a heavy, wet snow that resulted in about four-to-five inches of accumulation.

The “branches” it turned out where about half of the Bradford Pear, a lovely tree that has no business living in this part of the country.  It was the last of three, and while it makes me feel unkind, I said, “good riddance.”  The other two were felled by the same fate; now we can replace them with better suited sentries.

The branches fell on the fence and into our neighbor’s yard.  It was an ungodly mess that badly damaged their dogwood, but fortunately did no harm to their pool cover.  They have been out of town all week.  “I think we need to move that so it’s not so much of a disaster when they get back.”  “We do?”  “I can help you.”  “Honey, it’s incredibly heavy.  We can’t move that.”  “Of course we can.  Not pick it up and move it, but shift it, you know leverage.”  

Their gate was locked so we (he) set up ladders on each side of the fence so Mr. Blandings could climb over to clear some of the mess.  I’m a big enough woman to say that he was right, but not quite big enough to move a two hundred pound limb.  I did remain cheerful while he handed me branches and kept my advice to myself.
The images, above, by the immensely talented photographer and artist, Lee Bowers, are not of my yard, but a lovely reminder that Spring will come.  This feature is in the current issue of Spaces.
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14 thoughts on “Still More Lion Than Lamb

  1. the most amazing thing to me is that Bradford pears are bad for your area. I didn’t realize that. We have those out the wazoo here in Houston. We don’t have dogwood though. Boy – would I trade!

  2. I bet you will miss the spring flowers of the Bradford! You might replace it with a Chanticleer pear, much more hardy, and very parisian!
    Happy Spring! We got 5 inches this weekend, but I hope it all melts this week! Thanks for letting me see the green! I loved it!

    The Rhinestone Contessa:

  3. Certainly sounds like team work to me. I always {almost} acquiesce when it comes to these things- as it is a struggle for mine to accomplish such tasks. Always good to keep the humor.

  4. It did make me sad that the Bradfords were all in bloom when the snow came. At least it melted off quickly, damage though! I love Lee Bowers works of art! Her exhibit last year at the Greenlease Gallery was simply amazing.

  5. **** You had me HOOKED just from your first paragraph~~~ reeeeally had me chuckling~~~ many thanks! (BTW, my BFF lives in KC… she LOVES all that SNOW!!! Her DH sez she can AFFORD to love it~ SHE doesn’t have to SHOVEL it!!!)~~~ Best n’ many thanks, Linda

  6. Bradford pears are a scourge! They get too top-heavy and do what yours did. They’re taking all of them out in Baltimore.

  7. Not the fun weekend you planned, I’m sure. A nearby city removed all of the Bradford’s they had planted in the medians. They had spit and littered the streets one too many times. They were pretty in bloom. Now, they have been replaced with crepe myrtles. Looking forward to your specimens!

  8. Bradford pears were planted for miles along a nearby highway. They’ve mostly had to be replaced for just this reason. Turns out they’re “right” for this area, but they are brittle and not long-lived. Glad your damage was somewhat limited!

  9. We were out in old Leawood on Sunday and I was amazed at the number of branches and trees down, Bradford Pears all of them. Seems it was worse the further south you went, we were dry by Sunday afternoon in Union Hill.

  10. Here in Atlanta Bradford Pear trees are in great abundance…although pretty to look at they are quite stinky! I much prefer the Cherry tree with the sweet blossoms. I am sorry you are still having snow, it does wear a bit thin after a while.

    I had to chuckle about your “handyman”. Mine does the same thing and last time I needed his services I had to remind him WHO the decorator is and that the handy man ALWAYS does what the decorator says!


  11. What gorgeous photographs! I’ve known Lee Bowers for at least 20 years and her talents never cease to amaze me! Being from KC and now living in the high desert – the photos almost made me cry. I miss the spring the most there. I will definitely have to get a subscription to Spaces! Thanks for posting, I can even smell the air…

  12. Ha ha you and your husband sound exactly like mine. I always think up the plan and have him implement it and then I get mad me he bores me with details like studs and why I can’t hang something where I want to.

  13. Sounds like SUCH a fun day. I’m surprised Bradfords don’t work where you are. There are several at my parents in the Catskills that have survived -with damage- over 40 years. I can’t grow them, only crabapples. The eye candy is very very nice.

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