Fall is coming. I can feel it in the air in the early mornings and late evening. When I get into bed I find myself pulling the comforter up for the first time since late spring. The crickets that have been chirping so lustily on my windowsill each evening are beginning to sound like electronic toys whose batteries are dying down.
The birds are flocking. They're flying from field to field and bush to bush, gleaning all the seeds and insects they can find to get ready to migrate. And my wimpy little Amur Maple needs tree wrap to survive the upcoming winter.
When I had a huge overgrown upright juniper removed in the spring I really wanted to replace it with a tree that would sport bright red leaves to complement all the evergreens in the neighborhood. All I could find was this little Flame Maple, a Charlie Brown tree if I ever saw one. It's needed lots of support to even stay upright but I have high hopes for it. So I want to make sure it makes it through the winter. I swung by WalMart to get some tree wrap for it and also to see if they had any "Croc"-type shoes to wear in the garden. My gardening shoes of choice, flip-flops, are so slick on the bottom after a couple of years of wear that standing on a wet patio is like trying to stay upright on glaze ice. Well they didn't have any Crocs but I did find six other pairs of shoes.
These are my favorites. None of them will do for the garden but I can wear them to work and I spend more waking hours there anyway. So $1.87 for tree wrap turned into a slightly larger dent on the debit card, but hey, we're talking WalMart here. I'm still going to look for Crocs, and I bet if I wear them with a pair of socks I can even go outside in the middle of a blizzard-y night and knock the snow off my Charlie Brown tree without falling on my butt.
And when I'm snuggled back under my comforter, I can dream that my tree will look like this in a few years.