We’re going on two years with our affairs in the company of Red. It still feels magical to be nesting within her magnificent walls, providing us with shade and beauty, habitat and recreation. Like the wood she spawned from, a redwood is an impressive tree, an impressively large and fast-growing one. To find two growing in the back of our woods so close to her is perplexing; it was the (decision) arbitrary thought of two former habitats of Red since an expert guesses they are still young, about seven years old.
Seven years only and already they look like big, grand old trees mimicking the surrounding oaks that are probably rearing toward a half of a century old. I have appended my summer to-do list, “make calls to lumber mill,” I scribbled. How unfortunate to have to schedule more undertakings for summer, at least this doesn’t involve myself driving anywhere. I plan on staying put here. We have tasks at hand to uphold Red.Since we are deeper into the woods, a plan is in place to protect her from a sodden, troublesome, matter-of-fact dread. Piles of dirt, layer by layer to swathe the earth around her that will soak up the water that falls bountifully from the heavens. Enthusiasts at best, we all get dirt under our nails…patting and flattening the blanket that will protect her from saturation. A dusting of seeds from tiny hands that watched bigger hands sprinkle. Soon many blades of green will spear through the chocolate carpet, turning into fuzz and eventually a lush green to harmonize with the verdant life that surrounds us now.What to be sowed became complex and tangled. Papa bear and I had disparate views. I loathed the idea of grass…too high maintenance and Papa Bear is certainly not going to be concerned about seed or fertilizer without glyphosphate, among other toxins manufactured by a large corporate monster. Xeriscaping, my longing for a sliver of that sunshine state I left behind, is more what I had in mind, however, unlike our beloved past terrain, in these neck of the woods, we need thirstier species that will soak up the abundance of water for Red’s sake. It was the solution that fit the landscaping budget, maybe once we are done with our fastidious nesting projects we can add more decorative and textured varieties of foliage to mimic the chaparral that lines the coast of the West.As for the two redwoods, there is agreement, they are astonishing. So much so that cars can drive through their trunks! This is not their spot to retain them to sequester carbon and provide valuable habitat so close to Red. But maybe their beauty can be reshaped, with the help of a local miller, into wide boards for millwork or furniture within Red or even in another nest. What they will transform into will certainly stir up another debate and will require a walk deeper into the woods to come to a resolution on how they will leave their mark. I started that venture and I envision solid headboards, for we are all in need of supportive and durable planking while we lay our heads to rest. What better way to transfer the unbelievable stature of a redwood into our lives for “they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” John Steinbeck