Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tree Ring Time

It's been a month since we visited Tree Ring.  Lots has been happening around here between the weather, illness, business trips and City Girl getting her license.  So this weekend it was time to get up there and finish our surveying work for the shelter.  Sunny, 65 degrees.  Ahhhh.

City Girl had a job interview at 4:00, so couldn't come with us.  Ok, I'm kidding myself.   She had more important things to do - like drive all of her friends around in 'her car', now that she's 'free'.


When we got there, it looked like lots of pine cones have begun to drop.

We went for a short walk into the southern dry pond near the giant oak tree at the center of the property, and found an area that seemed to be full of poop piles with pellets about 1/3rd of an inch.  Not sure what kind of poop it was, but I would think deer poop would be bigger.

Some areas on our oak tree have shrivelled up fern fronds.  

And in the sun, they looked like they were enjoying the weather as much as we were.

I'm pretty sure they are resurrection ferns.  I did a Yahoo search on reserrection fern to be sure that I had this one right.  It is an air plant that likes to live on trees such as live oaks.   It looks dead when it's dry and cold, but comes to life with water and heat.  While searching, I came upon an article by Meems at Hoe and Shovel about resurrection ferns.  Her blog is full of interesting information about Gardening in Florida and has great photos.

After our walk, we got down to the business of surveying the last stake of our shelter.  This is drum roll time, because if you did everything right, the diagonal measurements of the stakes should be the same, and your rectangle is square.

Here were our measurements.

We made a few changes and got everything within 1/4 inch.    We're figuring that this is good enough, as the real test will be how square the poles are at the top.  Knowing how difficult it was to get these square at the ground, I can't wait to put 8 poles up and make sure they're square 9 feet in the air.

So this is the part of the story where my life repeats itself.  I am a very ordinary, laid back person, with an ordinary, laid back life.  But God must have a sense of humor, because bizarre things happen to me.  I can't remember if strange things also happened to me before I met RetroMan, or it just started with him.

It was around 3:00, and we packed everything up.  RetroMan turned the key in the iginition.  

Click, click, click.

So there we were, a mile from the nearest neighbor, 7 miles from the nearest town and our battery was dead. 

We talked about this happening a few years before.  The battery just up and quit one day.  The mechanic said that the newer Vans put such a load on batteries with all their gadgets, that batteries only last 3 years.  We thought back, and sure enough, it's been about 3 years since this happened last.

But I had a cell phone with some bars (important because of other bizarre events I haven't bloged about yet).  RetroMan said "get the GEICO card out of the glove box.  I've paid the towing fee for 10 years, now is the time to use it".

That would've been great had we not just three days before changed the insurance when City Girl started driving and dropped towing to save money. 

We called our friend Ron, who lives a couple of miles away. 

No answer.

So then we decided just to spend the night in the camper - what's the big deal?

Too bad we left the camper keys at home.

We decided to take a walk for about an hour, hoping that the battery might recharge enough to start, or that Ron might come home, or we could flag someone driving on the road to give us a jump - that last, knowing that there are only about three vehicles a day on that road.

We walked through the dry pond on our way to the road.  Boy is it beautiful.

I heard a truck in the distance, and RetroMan took off running.

So now, being slightly crippled, I got a little nervous.  I'm picturing Deliverance.  Someone could shoot my husband and there I'd be, helpless in the dry pond.

Lost in my idiot thoughts, I heard a truck coming down the driveway.  RetroMan was in the back, and waved to me.  I hid in some bushes so the driver wouldn't see me.  This would be important if the driver turned violent.

As I slowly walked towards them, City Girl called to tell me she was about to go into the interview.  I wished her luck, and thought how bizarre life can be sometimes - all these things happening at the same time.

By the time I turned the corner, the jump was done and RetroMan and the Country Man were standing there talking.  I took a picture for evidence in case someone found my camera with my body later.

Of course, Country Man was very nice and a neighbor (though 5 miles away), and I felt bad having undignified City Thoughts that showed I watch too much television and am distrustful of people.  He had the coolest tattoo on his forearm that said 'Cracker' on it with the top of the 'C' pointing to our County in a map of Florida.  I decided that to ask to take a picture was a bit much, especially seein as how I had just thought he might murder me and RetroMan.

City Girl called us just after we left for home to tell us she got the job.

Then she called 5 minutes later to say when she started the car, it made a 'crunchy noise'.

Here we go again.......


  1. Okay. You had me laughing out loud reading this. I could just picture it at every turn. And your thoughts. My thoughts exactly and I don't even watch TV (hardly at all anyway). What a series of events out in your peaceful place on a glorious winter day!

    Glad it all turned out well in the end. And hey... now you know one of your neighbors.

    Not sure about the poop sighting. But I do know the fern is resurrection fern... and thanks for the link. I noticed some little fronds growing on a palmetto trunk recently... it made me smile.

  2. I too love that resurrection fern! Always happy to find it growing somewhere! Your story had me ROTFL. I would've probably had the same thoughts. Many years ago, my usually trusting husband found himself and my (then) young son lost in a Florida swamp for an entire day. A canoe trip gone bad. But that's another story. He had left his cell in the car. He refused to ask help from a couple of young hunters they ran into at one point. Why? He said thoughts of the movie "Deliverance" were running through his head.

  3. BTW-What part of Florida is your Pine Tree garden in? Looks like ya'll have a real nice piece of land, with country boys who have big trucks.

  4. Hi Alan,

    Tree Ring is in Levy County.

    Thanks to you an Floridagirl and Meems for reading and commenting on my blog.