Sunday, August 10, 2008

Oak tree, you are not in my way.

Photo of an acorn:


Story of an acorn:

Today as I was mowing part of the lawn, I glanced at the health of one of the 2 oak trees that are in my back yard. I planted both from acorns that I picked up on one hike or another, with the implication that it isn't "Leave No Trace" to take a germinating acorn from a location where it would not survive or thrive and moving it to where it will grow. What I saw surprised and pleased me: an acorn growing.

What this means to mean is that I've not only nurtured another tree to a healthy life, but that the tree has gotten to the point in its maturity where it can reproduce. Almost like I'm a step-grandfather.

When I was around 5 years old, I took an apple seed from an apple I had eaten and started a tree in a small container. After it sprouted my parents let me move it to the edge of our yard. As it was surrounded by other vegetation, it grew tall and skinny. After 10 years or so, a tiny apple, smaller than a golf ball, appeared. How was I to know at that age you are supposed to trim apple trees so the fruit is close to the ground, not 12 feet up in the air?

As the months move into fall, I will be keeping an eye on this and hopefully other acorns, to see how they grow. My Peterson's Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs tells me this one may be a Chestnut Oak, which grow 60-70 feet. Whoa!

The other oak tree is a bit smaller, and a different type, probably a Pin Oak would be my guess. A picture on another day.

(This blog title is a skewed homage to Lynryd Skynryd, who's apocalyptic song about crashing their plane has a line "Oak tree, you're in my way." In my case, not.)

Tech note: the photo started out in the camera around 1MB:
-rw-r--r-- 1 jim wheel 1011058 Aug 10 08:56 DSCN3929.JPG
I ran it through a pnm resize on NetBSD UNIX:
$ jpegtopnm DSCN3929.JPG | pnmscale -xysize 800 600 > DSCN3929-800x600.pnm
After going back to jpeg, I added back the original tag data with jhead:
$ jhead -te DSCN3929.JPG DSCN3929-800x600.jpg
-rw-r--r-- 1 jim wheel 921615 Aug 10 11:16 DSCN3929-640x480.pnm
-rw-r--r-- 1 jim wheel 83484 Aug 10 11:20 DSCN3929-640x480.jpg
Without the tag info, it would be around 43K.

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