Here at Maywood, there’s the back yard and then there’s what’s beyond the back yard. That is John’s territory–down the hill and into the woods. It is not visible from the house. This is very important. If I can’t see it, then I can’t yell about what it looks like. Periodically I get invited back to see projects in progress. This often involves hiking through vines and low-hanging branches while avoiding tree roots and other tangly things. Every once in while paths get mown, but usually a walking-stick is recommended (new hip or not).
The best worn path is the trail to the beehives. It’s unofficially known as Beehive Lane. Sunday’s trek had us observing Japanese maple saplings springing up along the trail. We always check to see if the maples saplings are the cut-leaf variety, since there are a couple of very old cut-leaf maples at the Maywood house. Little holly trees abound too. Over the tree roots and down the hill toward the highway, we wind our way to the bees.
Two hives are active, one much more so than the other. The bees report back to the hive like planes coming in for a landing. The smaller hive is like a regional airport. Bees fly in and enter one at a time in evenly spaced entries. Imagine a little bee airport controller calling them in. The other hive is like JFK Airport in New York–bees are coming back quicker than they can get in. They don’t circle for a landing, though, they all just bunch up at the entrance like a bunch of travelers trying to get the best seat on a Southwest flight. The good news for us is that they all have bags to check, which will result in honey for us.
Another path is Sawmill Lane. That takes you to John’s sawmill, cut trees, boards and sawdust. This is also where he butchers his deer. It’s really best that we not see this area.
When he first got his sawmill, he set it up in the middle of the backyard. That went over like a lead balloon, so he moved back into the woods where he can play without my complaining. Lately, John has been milling a large black cherry tree that is destined to become a fold-up bar for Chris and Julie. Yes, he is actually working on their wedding present and may even have it finished before their infant daughter gets married. At any rate, it smells like fresh-cut black cherry wood down there and it is taking on the appearance of a large outdoor shop.
Sunday’s trek–good thing I had my walking stick–took us way down the back forty to the site of the actual tree that is the source of the current project. I suppose one could get lost, but “down” takes you to the highway and “up” takes you to the house. Still, I did appreciate seeing the big holly tree as we made our way back up. The holly tree stands at the “corner” of Sawmill Lane and HollyTree Lane which leads to Beehive Lane. We took a left onto HollyTree and merged into Beehive Lane which took us back up to the house. Well, that’s what was in my brain, anyway. You might have just seen woods.Kathy Harp – She can also be found at her personal blog Maywood Living. Are you receiving your free digital subscription to The Zone Magazine? If not, click here!