We had an interesting day today. It rained; it was sunny; it rained again. The air was very fresh and it was windy. The pear tree next door was losing its pedals and they fell like snow onto the tulips and daffodils Chrissy planted. It is an ephemeral pleasure. By tomorrow, or the next day at most, it will all be done.
Below are newly planted monkey puzzle trees at FSI. They are native to Chile and Argentina and are related to the araucaria or Parana pine that grows in Brazil and more distantly to the Norfolk Island pine so common as an indoor tree in malls. Monkey puzzle trees can tolerate a fair amount of cold. Although Virginia is about as far north as they can go in eastern North America, they live on the west coast as far north as British Columbia. In Europe, they can grow in UK and I even saw one thriving in Bergen in Norway. Warm ocean currents make a big difference. The story is that it is called monkey puzzle, since the curly branches would puzzle any monkey trying to climb it. The little branches on these are not yet curly enough to puzzle any but the stupidest monkey. They are pretty prickly, however. It may take twenty years, but this will be a really cool glade in time.