Eight Pines Emerging

Winter at Eight Pines

Friday, October 23, 2020

How brave I’ve felt finally to have named my little ranchero. An identifiable name changes my perception by encouraging a sense of having boosted the status of this small horse property. It’s situated in a neighborhood and near a cul de sac. Besides not earlier giving it a name, I’ve thought it slightly grandiose to name four acres. This began to change during this year’s early months.

The early pandemic ended my outside part-time job, and like others I searched for ways to stay interested and busy. It was winter and daily my horses went to a neighbor’s pasture to graze (winter grasses don’t increase their weight). I wasn’t, as usual, driving them, and hadn’t yet begun thinking of riding horseback.

For weeks, I explored online learning opportunities, bought books, tried knitting, practiced drawing using colored pencils, spent time online and texting, and of course, Netflix, et al, became buddies. As the weather warmed, I wandered onto my property and for the first time focused on its trees.

I saw many old junipers with overgrown hanging limbs. It seemed that if the tree limbs were removed, say up to about eight feet, my horses might move safely among the trees to graze here at home. A pure fantasy for this property is very rocky with little grass. But I needed a project.

I bought lightweight battery-operated long and short chain saws and went to work. It took weeks to cut, pile, load, and haul limbs away. Unlike my neighbor who counted his trees (about five-hundred of them), I didn’t count but estimated mine as around three-hundred. Bottom line, the sawing and related work got me out of the house, physically distanced me from others, and kept me busy. That work made my property somewhat park-like.

It also made me acutely aware of a few pine trees among my junipers. I had known of them but without much interest and for years had ignored them. Suddenly it seemed right to strengthen those unique trees, survivors of my neglect. I began watering, dragging hoses, situating sprinkling apparati, and paying them serious attention.

All eight trees. It was surprising that only very recently did “Eight Pines Ranch” pop into my mind. Immediately, that felt right, and also immediately, my brain battled its sense of “the place” vs. “Eight Pines”. Happily, Eight Pines won, and has trees to support an unique identification.

Dear Friends: A street address does the job, but a real name is swell. Diana

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