Isn't it bizarre how we buy these big parcels of land and then spend so much time shrinking the spaces to cozy parcels that we can enjoy from our favorite windows?
Mountaintop Mary and Don own a whole top of a mountain, but they've figured a way to create a cozy place for their grandchildren's reading and dreaming. Just off their front porch, they've closed in a section of yard with ranch-style fencing. In the middle of this enclosure, they've built a tee-pee out of rebar and chicken wire; here they're growing lunar pumpkin vines to create tee-pee walls with brilliant orange blooms. The entrance path to the the tee-pee is a home-hewn stone walkway. All around this miniature mansion are bright red canna lilies in an English-style flower plot inviting the hummingbirds to hover. Their hammock swings gently in the breezes wafting across this child-size Granny Camp garden.
Our close-in trees not only provide shade for our house, they also provide places to observe birds and other beasts feeding and frolicking in the branches. Our niece, Nikki's, favorite reading spot is in the hammock strung between an Eastern hemlock and a black walnut tree only twenty steps from our front door. Would it be as inviting if she had to hike to get to it? I will admit that autumn would be a bit quieter without the avalanche of walnuts bombarding our roof as they fall, but where would we put Nikki's favorite spot? And, every time I speak to my children about moving our bonfire pit farther away from our porch to improve the "curb appeal" of our entry way (not that we have curbs in Coker Creek), I get wails of distress that I would even think about making it less accessible.
Richard and many of the people we know up here worry about the big trees so close to our house. I've had several workmen come up here and admonish me for having pine trees anywhere near our roof line, for fear that they'll fall on said roof. Mamie now says she should have listened to her husband when he wanted to take out all the close-in trees before building her home seventy-six years ago. But, until recently she, like me, celebrated her big trees.
We do have some serious wind storms, and ice can make the branches of pines brittle, but I'd as soon sell this house and live in the desert as worry about a tree falling on our heads. Lightening could strike us as we work in the garden or walk from our carport, but I think that we all have to pick our battles and the things we will worry about. I worry about things that go "bump" in the night, like black bears, not black walnuts.
At least one hummingbird and a wasp have located our front yard feeder. I find it funny that hummingbirds will chase each other from any one area rather than share their food, no matter how many feeders are in the vicinity; but a wasp sucking down the sweet sustenance doesn't worry our winged warrior one whit.