On the road…again!
Afghanistan to Zambia
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
An Apple Tree Speaks
Note dangling from our apple tree:
FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS
SIT AND REST AWHILE
IN THE SHADE OF MY BRANCHES.
ENJOY ONE OF MY APPLES WHILE RESTING.
LOOK UP, LOOK DOWN AND CHOOSE A RED ONE,
OR CHOOSE A YELLOW ONE, I HAVE BOTH.
I AM A GRAFTED TREE.
IN FACT, I HAVE THREE KINDS TO CHOOSE FROM.
REST ON MY LOG, THAT IS MUCH OLDER THAN ME.
MY LOG IS AMERICAN CHESTNUT,
AND IS VERY OLD, INDEED.
IT CAME FROM AN OIL WELL NEAR HERE.
MY LOG FOR RESTING IS ABOUT 130 YEARS OLD.
130 year old American Chestnut log is a resting place for neighbors
What else is in this picture? It might be said that the photo above depicts a few apples sitting on a log, and some kind of stone resting against the log. That's correct. But there are others things in the photo that make it into a story with genuine legacy implications. The log has its own legacy, starting about 130 years ago when it was cut from the forest in Pennsylvania and shaped for its use in an oil well that was visible from the rear window of the Footloose Forester's house. After the oil well derrick was removed to create a housing development, the Footloose Forester asked the landowner if he could have the chestnut log. The contractors subsequently delivered three chestnut logs to his kerbside, for the bargain price of two cases of beer. One case was cold, for immediate enjoyment.
The apples have their own tale to tell. After all, they were picked from the scrawny tree directly behind the log; and they came from three distinct varieties of apple of the grafted parent tree about 100 feet away. The scrawny tree was not planted there. It arose as a "wilding" from seed in the ground, probably spit out by someone who sat on the log years earlier. But the results could not have been more propitious. Neighborhood kids have been enyoying the apples and the log for more than two decades. As for the slab of ironstone, it has a different tale, yet to be told.
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Interesting note but most inviting. It looks like a peaceful, restful place. I love the photo! But the story behind the photo really is a good example of making the photo "live". Thanks for sharing, Dick
With enough imagination and inspiration, there are stories that pertain to the apple tree, itself; and to the chestnut log. The proper mood has not yet arrived; but thanks for the stimulus, Golden.
The update to this story, coming a full year after it was written, still fills me with pleasure. How could such a fantastic set up circumstances be true? Who would have guessed that we would have so many years of pleasure, just sitting on an old log, eating apples from a tree we did not plant?