A post-Thanksgiving, bloated welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Hope you had a pleasant Turkey Day.
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Today's sermon: Adopt, don't shop!
You see it all over this time of year: some big SUV with a giant groomed pine lashed to the hood. Or, think about those Christmas tree lots. You go in, run your fingers down a sculpted bough, and 70 needles fall off and drift to the ground. And the price? Fifty bucks for a pretty sickly specimen. Upwards of one fifty for something big and healthy.
Well, I do love a fresh Yule tree. There's something about bringing a tree inside the house that appeals to my school-weary spirit. It's not only festive, it's nourishing to the soul.
I guess it was three years ago that I happened to find myself at a stop light, and I looked to my left and saw a vacant lot. As you might expect in a state that is 1/3 covered with Pine Barrens, the lot had a bunch of pine seedlings growing up, each one about the height of a Christmas tree. The only difference being that these seedlings were somewhat scraggly, and they sport long needles (which I actually prefer).
Something clicked in my head. I could snip down a pine from a vacant lot! Nobody would miss it. I would be able to carry it myself, it would be fresher with fewer boughs to deck, and best of all ... can't beat that price, which is free!
Thus began my new tradition of adopting a feral tree rather than purchasing an expensive (mostly dead) one from the landscaping store.
EXHIBIT A: FERAL TREE
I took a pleasant morning drive in rural New Jersey. I stopped at a vacant lot I had been scoping since last summer. Took my clippers, snipped down this fine tree. Left some branches so it can regenerate.