Friday, March 15, 2013


We have a dangler right now in the front yard. The arborists call it a widow maker. I am doing my best to ignore this term's meaning. A large top of a tree has snapped off and become tangled and held high up in the trees by some invasive vines -- Asiatic Bittersweet according to the Maine Cooperative Extension -- that have flourished in our overgrown hedge. Our tree guy, who has also provided us with our respectable firewood piles for the past two winters, estimated $1,000 to take it down. OK. Not an option. So alternatively, we are yanking on it biweekly and hoping for one of those stiff northeast winds to bring it down so we can sizzle it up. 

We could, it seems, do something more creative with the bittersweet.

Gerri Hirshey, The New York Times
But we aren't feeling quite that adventurous.

So this dangler, hanging on for a bit too long like one of our children's first baby teeth, the one they were afraid to wiggle for fear that it might hurt or worse yet...come out, is hanging on with all its might. We hack out the bittersweet that we can reach from the ground and which may be providing the branch with some arboreal support. And yesterday Jonathan did this.

Please know, this picture makes it look like Jonathan is actually under
the branch. He is not, he is safely behind it and not in the way should
it fall. We are using our family branded abundance of caution.

Of course, as is true to our scrappy misadventurous style, he went up without any tool to cut with. So Nicholas was kind enough to deliver an actual cutting device to Jonathan in his perch. And let's not talk about the fact that, in that moment I was not able to find an appropriate saw so Nicholas delivered a carpenter's hand saw. With this ill-suited tool, Jonathan worked to release the branch from the vine's clutches.

It's still up there. Stuck. But, as we do with so much here, we are slowly working away at it. Resolving our problems ourselves as best we can, often with the wrong tools and a bit of carefully controlled danger, throwing our best efforts at them.

And waiting for wind. Does anyone have an orangutan?

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