Oh My Hair!

Great Falls is a windy city.  When the wind is not blowing, one is liable to tip over from not having that constant head wind holding them up straight.  Last summer was one of the worst fire seasons in the state of Montana.  During the span of two months, the wind barely blew.  It was hot, smokey, and most of us had to stay indoors most of the summer.  I have never missed wind as much as I did during the summer of 2017.

We do not live very far from an oil refinery.  Most days it smells like sulfur, oil, and all kinds of offensive things.  Thanks to the wind, the smell does not carry over to our neighborhood most days.  The wastewater treatment plant is a little further than the refinery but on days when the wind doesn’t blow and they are cleaning up some extra nasty waste, the smell makes its way over.  Eww.

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Lipglossip

When I was young, I used to complain about the wind because it messed up my hair.  Thank goodness for Aqua Net.  I used loads of it.  We went on a picnic the other day and with each bite of food I took, I about ate a mouthful of hair too.  It’s easy to complain about wind but most of the time I think about what it does for us.

Wind is a clean source of power, it cleans the air and makes the sky look bluer, it helps ships to sail, gives birds a break as they fly in place, flies kites, allows us to paraglide and surf, makes leaves rustle on trees, and helps us to cool off after a hot, summer day.

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Softpedia News

I don’t use Aqua Net anymore but I am also older and I accept that a perfect hair day is a rarity.  I am thankful for tumbleweeds blowing across the prairie in the wind, hair in my face as we drive down the highway, and swaying trees so long as we do not blow away to Oz like Dorothy and Toto.  Next time my hairstyle is ruined by the wind or I end up with dirt it my eye I will think about the positive side of wind.

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AMERICAblog

 

 

 

Goodbye Old Cottonwood

When I  went to visit Mom last month she asked me, “Did you see out back yet?”  I said no and asked her why.  “They finally cut that tree down,” she stated.

“What tree?” I asked as a feeling of dread began to bloom in my chest.

“The big one in the alley,” she replied, after which I went out the door to the backyard and all I could do was stare into the empty space of sky that was occupied by a massive cottonwood that towered over the houses at the top of the hill.

One of my favorite things about visiting Mom, along with talking with her over coffee of course, was listening the wind rustle the leaves of the cottonwood tree out back.  I would sleep with the window open in the back room so I could wake up to the sound in the morning.  If you do not have cottonwood trees in your area you may be able to find sound bits on YouTube of the wind fluttering the thick, sturdy leaves of the cottonwood tree.

Mom was relieved, along with her neighbors, to not have to clean up the leaves anymore.  Being as hardy as they are, the leaves of a cottonwood do not curl up and fall apart like other leaves in the fall.  They become flexible from moisture but do not disappear as easily as other leaves.  I understand her decision when it came to the mess, but what about the shade it provided?  Many trees still remain in her neighborhood but I did enjoy listening to the chickadees as they hopped from branch to branch overhead.  “Doesn’t the beauty and shade of the tree outweigh the fall mess?”  I thought.

Over the years, many trees have disappeared from our neighborhood.  I do not judge however, because I have no idea how it is to be a senior and having to deal with the mess.  I can be disappointed in the trees being gone, however.  I went out front to sip on my coffee on the front steps and the sun blasted my face with it’s heat.  A massive pine tree next door used to cover that area.  This pine tree was so large and full of birds that my dad called it the “Bird Hotel.”  Sparrows, finches, chickadees, robins, and doves lived there along with a few squirrels.  Our neighbors were kind enough to wait until the fledglings were gone before they had the tree removed.  The tree was gone in less than an hour.  I was furious of course – not at my neighbors but at how short of a period of time something so massive could be destroyed.

We planted three trees in our yard in the summer of 2014.  I am happy to say that they are growing quickly and we have a robin’s nest in one of them.  We are able to enjoy the scent and beauty of the blooms every spring and the birds enjoy perching in them.  With the summers becoming increasingly hotter I wanted to grow some shade for our home and provide a place for my feathered friends.

 

I don’t think we can ever plant too many trees.  They are beautiful to look at and give us a place to sit under on sunny days.  I am not a treehugger but I am thankful for God’s creation and the comfort and joy it provides man and bird alike.