Monday, October 1, 2012


When I arrive at the little house in the woods my mind goes into overdrive at the thought of all the things I can do. I can have a fire, break out my trusty camera & photograph nature, take a walk in the woods, trim the never ceasing onslaught of vegetation...wait - did someone say trim?

Ever since my grandfather Herman (Granddad or Grandgag to us kids) taught me that it's possible to make a plant look better by ruthlessly trimming it, I've been a huge fan of trimming stuff. Out here in the woods there are enough vines to keep me trimming every day for the next 245 years! 'OK, I'm going to start cutting vines today' I thought to myself, but then I spotted on of my favorite vines and I had a change of heart. I started studying the vines themselves. And you know what? They're amazing!

It's incredible to know that one tiny vine no thicker than a pencil lead can begin by creeping along the ground then begin an unthinkable climb all the way to the treetops. How do they make it up through the open air until they find purchase on a tree limb? One would think that they would curl around a tree trunk - around and around and around until they were 50 feet up, but I've seen otherwise.

Some of the wild grapevines around our little house are as big as my thigh - others are tiny. But they all perform perplexing acrobatics and aerobatics as they snake up into the cedars, extending ever outward in search of another tree. The bark of the grapevine is woody and can often be mistaken for a tree limb. That is until you follow it's path, draping gracefully across the branches. If you follow it long enough, you're sure to see it dangling through the air like a power line until it joins another nearby cedar. Again I am puzzled. How did a vine 15 feet off of the ground extend itself 6 feet through the air with no support into another tree? I've studied this people, it's one solitary vine! There's no other vine on the tree it's connecting to to join forces with.

Some of the vines around here are ruthless. They can envelop an entire tree, eventually destroying it from their weight. Some are thorny, some are smooth. Some are hard and others give way to pressure. Some are solo climbers, others seem to have a team effort in their climb. They're all unique and fascinating.

Yes, the vines are safe from trimming today while I wax poetic about them. I'm glad to have slowed down long enough to witness one of Mother Nature's mysteries. I guess today I'll be a vine and wind my way around the property. Sometimes solo and other times with others. Just don't accuse me of being thorny. 

1 comment:

  1. I love the look of vines, but here at the farm we have so many and can never keep up with the trimming. The bad things for us is they choke beautiful trees then we lose them. I need a person at our place that totally did nothing but keep vines out of my trees!!!