Thursday, November 29, 2007

As promised ~

Remember several days ago I mentioned Doug, Holly and Gus? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is the low down. Here it is getting ready for the next Holiday that is now less than a month away. First and foremost is deciding what kind of a tree we shall get. For more then twenty-five years we have chosen rooted trees. While one of our considerations is Growing Christmas trees provides a habitat for wildlife.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Did you know Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since about 1850?


Other types of trees such as cherry and hawthorns were used as Christmas trees in the past.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OK I bet you have figured most of this out already… Gus is giving you Raised eyebrows…?
The history of the Christmas tree! It's generally believed that the first real Christian Christmas tree dates back to 8th century Germany. Boniface, an English missionary, introduced a decorated fir tree in homage to the Christ Child.
~~~~~~~~~~~ Balled-and-bur lapped or container-grown Christmas trees can be planted out as landscape trees after Christmas.
Douglas Fir – Pseudotsuga menziesii – good fragrance; holds blue to dark green; 1” to 1 ½” needles; needles have one of the best aromas among Christmas trees when crushed. Named after David Douglas who studied the tree in the 1800’s; good conical shape; can live for a thousand years.
Pseudotsuga menziesii is one of the world's most important and valuable timber trees plus a favorite Christmas tree. It is a major component of the forests of western North America and has been successfully introduced in the last 100 years into many regions of the temperate forest zone. Horticulturists recommend doug fir as a "great" tree to plant as an ornamental in the northern U.S. states. Because of a uniform pyramidal shape when young, it is also a preferred Christmas tree. Douglas-fir is not a true fir and has been a taxonomic nightmare for those trying to settle on a genus name. After changing names on numerous occasions the present scientific name Pseudotsuga menziesii now uniquely belongs to Douglas-fir. The unusual cone is also unique with, forked, snake-tongue-like bracts extending from each scale. The tree is one of the dominant trees in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and up the slopes to medium altitudes. It has the largest latitudinal range of any commercial conifer native to western North America.


Douglas fir are liked for their dense bushy shape and fine soft green needles. They have a distinctive pine-like scent, and that fragrance seems to last through the entire Christmas season.

OK, so what about Holly? Aka Ilex opaca, the leaves are typical of our image of a Christmas holly -- thick and dark green, with spiny edges. The berries are red and produced on female plants in the fall. They last through much of the winter, attracting birds. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Well there she was just hanging out at the Garden Center looking like she needed a good home. So we got a wee one to plant with or close to Douglas after Christmas.
~~~~~~~~~~~ Birds like blue jays, cedar waxwings, robins, mockingbirds, red-bellied woodpeckers, and wild turkey, eat the berries of American holly as do mammals such as raccoon and deer. These berries are also an important food source in the winter for songbirds. In return, the birds carry holly seeds from the berries to new areas.
For sure my Sweetie and I like that. In past years I have transplanted three Holly’s from the woods and they have thrived. Just seemed the thing to do this year getting another one. An article by H. E. Grelen: Commented about the Pilgrims and how this tree ~ “…reminded them of the English holly (Ilex aquifolium), a symbol of Christmas for centuries in England and Europe (13,26).”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A carol like the Holly and the Ivy to have survived over the years especially during the stern protestant period of the 17th century. The Holly and the Ivy have always been taken indoors during the winter the hope being that the occupants would survive difficult conditions just like the hardy Holly and the Ivy. The colours of the Holly and Ivy, green and red are traditionally associated with Christmas. The author and composer of the Holly and the Ivy remain unknown.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Holly and the Ivy : Lyrics and Music
OK now for GUS! On our way home with the trees in the pickup we stopped next door to deliver some mail that was mistakenly left in our mailbox. My Sweetie drove though our field and left me to attend to Douglas and Holly. ~~~~~~~~~ I sat there watching this man jaunt toward our neighbors, and noticed a new dog there. Ummmmmmmm guesss they have another dog. Before long my Sweetie is lopping toward the truck assisted by the HUGE dog that appears to maybe be a Blue Tic.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Picture Link!
It is said that the color of the modern Bluetick Coonhound is a clue that the breed is a descendent of the French stag hound called the Grand Bleu de Gascogne. It is also believed that other ancestors of the breed include the English foxhound, curs, and several breeds of other French hounds. The mix was crossed again with American hounds which created a dog that offered more endurance and good cold-trailing abilities. Originally, the Bluetick Coonhound was classified as an English Coonhound, but the Bluetick breeders diverted from English breeders in the mid 1940s.
Bottom line I was thinking GADS ZOOKS, etc. Gus, as was the name on his dog tag took my Sweetie for a Semi run to one of our spare kennels. I sat and beamed knowing what a kind and loving person I share my life with. So we have another dog, if the owner cannot be located…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As luck would have it, through my Sweeties attention to homeless animals…we located the owner. Fact it was a neighbor that we affectionately call His Ed ~Ness. YES Gus was a pet rescue for Ed and his wife, they had only had the dog less than a month and this was the third time GUS wandered off.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The departing words when Ed came to get Gus were: “he already ate Ed.”. Ed chuckled, “well that just saved mw 5 pounds of food right there.” Of course thanks and great to see you and Merry Christmas to all of your family.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ok now go Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PS Tuna is slowly coming out of shock…


George is Happy Gus found his family!


Ki said...

Douglas firs have a nice scent but it doesn't last nearly long enough. I like the Balsam fir the best but like the Douglas it's dry as a bone by Christmas so we buy the Fraser fir which is like the Energizer bunny. The scent is not nearly as noticeable as the Balsam but we got one this year that has quite a bit of scent. A good compromise.

imac said...

AgainDeemom, A great post and info, most interesting.

My email is on my info=

Anonymous said...

We used to do this exact thing. And one of those trees, a small spruce, is not about 30-40 feet tall in my backyard. It has been home to countless animals over the years and still is.

I wish more people would buy trees (not just evergreen) and plant them to benefit wildlife. Like oaks that give nuts among other things. And trees like walnut and beech.

Nice post, and I really enjoyed your narrative with the photographs.

Old Wom Tigley said...

What a great post.. we don't get a 'Living' tree, but we do recycle the ones we get.
Holly is very abundant this year, I can not remember seeing as many trees covered in berries as there are about this year.
Never heard of this dog, so will try and make the time to learne something new.

Kerri said...

Wonderful Post!!!!

DeeMom said...

Ki we have had many varieties of pine in the house…white, blue spruce etc. When we go to select the tree there are certain parameters that must be met. This year was amazing, we got out we saw it [Douglas] within 5 minutes and both of us exclaimed “THIS IS IT!”

Thanks for the E-Mail info IMAC I sent you a couple of pictures, hope they got there.

Abraham, we have done this for @ 25 years give or take…it is so neat to revisit the trees outside during the different seasons.

“O” Good to see you are feeling better. Jane did a magnificent job…and Pete is awesome!

Thanks Kerri, I am really enjoying your benches etc of The Blue Ridge Parkway. It is for sure a beautiful area.

Willard said...

Good interesting post with lots of information.

Also thanks for visiting my blog and leaving the recipes. They sound very tasty!