When my daughter turned one the following spring, we noticed the ends of the branches on that same hemlock were turning brown. We were worried that putting in our septic had disrupted its roots. The spring my daughter turned two, the hemlock that was home to my constant companion those precious weeks after my daughter was born was completely dead. This spring, as my daughter turns three, we will be cutting that hemlock down.
|my girls playing under the branches of that hemlock|
a year and a half ago
|that same hemlock today|
My children also loved that tree, for it was the provider of small hemlock cones, perfect for fairy houses and all sorts of natural play. My children came running up to me the other day to tell me their tree wasn't giving cones anymore. They didn't notice it's dry brown branches, just that it's usual offering to their play was missing. We all loved that hemlock and another that is at the end of our property that provides a large, much needed shady space in the heat of summer and is the place where we first saw our owl friend this winter. We noticed that the ends of its branches are beginning to turn brown as well.
When you live on a piece of land you begin to know it well; it becomes an extension of your home. We are taking care of our remaining hemlocks the best way we can, but we are also savoring them, in case the day comes when they are missing from our home.
|white clumps or "cotton" at the end of the |
hemlock branches are the telltale sign of
the hemlock wooly adelgid
|small hemlock cones are perfect for fairy houses and all sorts of|
nature crafts and play
|beautiful striped underside of the hemlock needles|