Acorns once fell to the earth, put down roots and then, three to four hundred years later, crashed as giant oaks back to the earth. Wind, rain, ice, old age? Here’s the most recent windfall, came down last weekend. You can see that it’s been dead a while, and that the acorn woodpeckers have turned it into a granary tree. Each of the holes stuffed with acorns.

And that’s one way the story ends. Across our fence, you will note, and onto the neighbor’s property. A big clutter, and we are grateful to Mitch and Chance who like to earn auxiliary cash on some weekends by sawing, bucking, stacking.

But last year, the trees which fell were more statuesque, with long, straight trunks which Allen wanted to salvage. Remember Allen? He’s going to build a mill in his back yard and plane the trees into planks which he will use to floor his living room. Allen is also the one who built the stone work on our patio, who raises bees under the oaks in our Fish and Wildlife acres.

He had stashed 10 trunks from last year’s windfalls by the barn, to season for a year, or maybe to wait until he built his mill. He came by this weekend to collect the wood. A little photo essay:

Does he just rent that equipment, I ask Larry this evening while I’m typing this. “No, he owns it.” I guess someone who is building his own mill will have the necessary. That’s Larry on the John Deere, btw, his John Deere. Always fun to put it to such manly work, right?

The story of these trees isn’t ending in ignominy across a scrappy fence.

Mitch and Chance have indicated that they’d like to try to sell the firewood they’ve cut these past two years. They’ll have to rent a splitter, find the customers, haul it away. Why not? You’ve seen that we have already a century of firewood split and stacked in our barn,

Another ending to the story:

This is tonight’s fire, in front of which, Larry sits reading. Dark Star, by Alan Furst.

But I expect you’d like an update on our Gracie? Who lost her feathers? She has been reunited with her flock, and her feathers are growing back. This photo won’t make it clear, but we are optimistic that she’ll fully recover:

A little family news: Charlie has arrived in Vienna for his semester abroad. His sister Amy thinks Grandpa Larry should hire a private plane and fly us all to Austria to visit him this spring. Grandpa Larry has shown no enthusiasm for this plan, but I have to admit I like the sound of it. Just kidding, Larry!

Charlie has a story. He went to a cafe and, trying out his brand new German, asked if he could get a coke and fries. “Is that what you really want?” asked the waitress, presumably in English, “or is that just all you know how to order?” Busted.

So life has resumed, despite Omicron, despite the weather? We had tickets to the Oregon Symphony’s concert in Salem Friday night, and there, huddled in the seats of the Willamette U’s concert hall, masked up, of course, heard Scheherazade. Gorgeous. I wish you had been there, too.

After a week of cold, blue-sky weather, the rains have returned. I’m going to find my book and join Larry by the fire. Reading Ann Cleves’ Blue Lightening. Just a cozy little mystery story sited on Fair Isle, Scotland. Perfect for a rainy Sunday evening.

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