"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Brushing up, or branching out


Our front yard

The ice storm was probably my fault. 

A few weeks before it hit, wreaking havoc with our trees, our properties, our power, I bought Wendell Berry's new book, "The Art of Loading Brush, New Agrarian Writings," from our local bookstore Best of Books.

There is non-fiction, fiction and poetry in this book. The last chapters are a short story about rural life, where the book gets its name.

In the two weeks since the ice storm, we've been doing a lot of loading brush. In fact, every day, some splinter branch falls to the ground in our wonderful Oklahoma winds. I get up in the mornings, go cut it up into no more than six-foot lengths, and drag it to the curb. Brush piles line streets all over the city. 

The city is working its way here in cleanup, but my guess is that it'll be another month before ours, along with our many neighbors' brush piles are gone.

The irony is that we bought this house because we liked the trees. We still do--less in fallen leaves season, and certainly less now.

And there's more damage in the trees that needs professional work; tree guys are so swamped  that they're not taking new customers and that ours has just shown up.

In the meantime, I'm getting good at loading--well piling--brush.

Our curb appeal

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