A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Pollarding The Hawthorne As One Declines From Fullness To Old Age
Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sometimes Spanish sounds that much more poetic. Consider the definition for autumn in my on line RAE (Real Academia Española) dictionary.

otoño.(Del lat. autumnus).

1. m. Estación del año que, astronómicamente, comienza en el equinoccio del mismo nombre y termina en el solsticio de invierno.

2. m. Época templada del año, que en el hemisferio boreal corresponde a los meses de septiembre, octubre y noviembre, y en el austral a la primavera del hemisferio boreal.

3. m. Segunda hierba o heno que producen los prados en la estación del otoño.

4. m. Período de la vida humana en que esta declina de la plenitud hacia la vejez.

Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

It is definition 4 which states that autumn is that period in human existence in which it declines from fullness towards old age.

This is a picture of my principal hosta bed on the southern side of our garden. I took it three weeks ago when autumn was setting in. The bed is more collapsed now and the colours are more vivid.

Rosemary and I cut off all the new top growth of our old Hawthorn tree. This is a terrible job as I must wear glasses, gloves and try not to stab myself with all the nasty thorns. Our ladder is rickity and Rosemary has to hold it so I won't fall.

It must have been some 6 or 7 years ago that I was doing this job on my own in late November. Rosemary was inside. The ladder shifted and I fell off. By some quirk of slow motion my body remained suspended in the air while it waited for the ladder to settle horizontally under it. Once that had happened I fell neatly on it on my chest. I could not breathe and I gasped for air. My neighbour heard me and called the ambulance. When the attendants brought in the stretcher I saw death in the face and rapidly got up (in pain) and demanded to walk into the ambulance. They took me to UBC Emergency with no siren as I had asked for it as a special request. The doctor told me that he had no way of telling me if I indeed had any broken ribs as none were sticking out of my chest. He bandaged my chest up. It was only then that I called Rosemary to come and get me. She was very surprised as she had not heard the ambulance and had not seen me taken away.

Perhaps it is guilt or something else, but I now have the pleasure of doing a nasty job with good company. And today it was a glorious day to pollard our Hawthorne.


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Tomatoes, Don Tirso & MSG

A Wood Pile Before Frost Sets In

The Four Faces Of Pam

Crystal Pite - Harvey Southam - Elegance & Class

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