Wednesday, March 26, 2008

94 v. 16 v. 45 Years

Most of my dog relatives live past 15 years. The humans last longer like the 94 years my first forever person had. So, they think - sometimes - in longer times about things then we dogs.
Like trees. I tend to think of trees just as convenient markers for pee-mail. I rarely stop to think about how they came to grow where they are.
Here is an old photo of four big old black walnut orchard trees. All are in the front yards of new houses. And some sticky so-small-not-worth-peeing-upon street trees. In the distance another big orchard of cherry trees.
Fast forward 45 years.
Here I am on that same street in almost the exact same spot. The walnuts are long gone save for perhaps one behind the oleander. The cherries gone, too. The new people did not know how an orchardman needed to take care of them. The street trees are bigger. Of serious interest to us dogs. Nice scene. But....
Alice preferred this cherry tree several blocks away on a corner. She said it must have been planted about the same time as those sticky street trees in the old photo. A person thought long and hard about what kind of tree to plant in that spot, Alice said.
I saw Alice last Fall help to plant a tree just like that big old flowering one. An Akebono cherry at Santa Rita. Here is its first flower this Spring. It was planted in a spot opened after a magnolia was removed to make room for a ginko tree which her Dad has always wanted there and a cherry which her Mom wanted. That magnolia was so big there is room not just for the cherry and ginko but also an Italian plum and a pistache tree.
See how small that plum tree is? Alice loves the smell of those flowers. She said Japanese call these "ume" blossoms and lots of time is spent admiring them, and the cherry blossoms, too. (I can't quite understand why....)
I will dream tonight about what these small trees will look like in 45 years long after I am gone from this life. Perhaps they will be as big as that now old cherry on the sunny corner?