Dawn Redwood Needle Budding - Spring 2019

Of all the various tree-related posts here on the blog, the Dawn Redwood might have the most action in terms of posting.  I first bought our initial Dawn Redwood back in May of 2017 and planted it in our new backyard in Downers Grove.   By October of 2017, I was concerned that the tree was not going to survive.  And I was right.  It didn't come back.   So, I replaced it with a tree from an online nursery and planted it in July.  Not the best time to plant a new, young tree, right? 

But, by Fall, it was showing signs of growth and it had seemingly weathered the tough, stressful planting.  Mid-November of last year, the deciduous needles had turned all brown (as they are SUPPOSED TO DO!) ahead of the hard Winter.  Finally, my most recent post on this tree was on April 1st of this year where I shared a photo of some of the buds that had set last Fall about to burst open with new growth

The issue is that back on our initial Dawn Redwood, we too, had buds that had set, but they neve…

Pre-Blossom Kwanzan Cherry Tree - 2019

I snapped this photo of the freshly burst free leaves from our Kwanzan Flowering Cherry Tree a couple of weeks ago, so the {post-date} on this post is a little inaccurate.   So let's call this May 2nd or so in terms of usefulness in the [garden diary] purposes.   This photo is going up almost a week after I shared the same Kwanzan Cherry trees in bloom down in St. Louis.  That post is here.    
The tree still has not bloomed, but once it does, I'll grab some photos and add them to the [garden diary] post over on Should be any day now based on a May 21st bloom in 2018.  
We have a few other flowering trees in our yard, but there are a few on my radar to acquire including an Eastern Redbud tree - maybe a multi-trunk variety (??) and maybe another flowering Cherry.  I think I saw a Yoshino Cherry at Home Depot on one of our trips.  Maybe it will come home with us.

New Spring Green Growth on Weeping Cedar (After a Brown Spring)

I logged my concern about our Weeping Himalayan Cedar Tree a couple of weeks ago when I shared a photo that showed that the small, young tree was turning brown from the top down to the middle of the tree.  I had planted the tree just a little bit over a year prior, so our one year warranty was over and if the tree was dying I was out the money.  In that post, I found at least one source that confirmed that young cedar trees will sometimes brown out in the late Winter/early Spring to shed some of their needles to only grow back out green shortly thereafter.

Welp...I have some good news.  At least I'm pretty sure it is good news.  Check out the photos at the top here and bottom of the post.  See all those new green needle buds?  They are all over the limbs of this beautiful tree.

I am really excited to see that this thing made it through our tough Winter and now that I know it experienced some stress, I'll try to baby it through the Summer to make sure it is adequately watered …

Squirrel Buster Standard Added To Feeder

About a month and a half ago, I was complaining about how my big Squirrel Buster bird feeder was leaking seed - you can see that post here.  Spring is the time when I give our feeders a rest after feeding the birds and critters all Winter long, but for my birthday, I was given this new addition:  a Squirrel Buster Standard Edition.   This is much smaller than the big one we already have and has a little different set-up in terms of how you fill it.  But, it is made by the folks at Brome Bird Care, so I know it is a thoughtful feeder. 

I'll get it out on our feeder pole (We have a new one of those, I'll post about it because it is awesome looking) soon and fill it to see what kind of birds we get in late Spring.

View From The Road - Sunset on the Way Home

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo on the blog of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from my JAL flight home.  I've spent quite a bit of time up in the air during the first part of this year.  Thus, I have seen a lot of cloud-time.  Let's post this week another photo from the road - this time on a recent flight home from Newark where I caught the Sunset while we were above the clouds somewhere over Pennsylvania.

Dropping Off at Pre-School Like A Boss

Here I am sitting in the line on drop the King of the Ball Tossers off at pre-school one morning recently when I see in front of me this Dad dropping off his toddlers LIKE A BOSS in his Tesla Model X with Falcon Wings.  Talk about winning the whole drop-off line, amirite?  No fancy grocery wagon from Volvo or Infinity can shake a stick at this guy. 

Sorry to my kids...I have good news/bad news.  The good news: for the older're taking the bus.  The bad news?  When we drive you, you're rolling out of the Swagger Wagon.

A Visit to Ted Drewes for Frozen Custard - St. Louis

I've posted about the food tourism that was a key part of our family visit to St. Louis a couple of weeks ago that included a stop at Blueberry Hill on the Delmar Loop and a visit to the Downtown Imo's pizza ahead of a ballgame.  But, we also made a visit to the "must stop" Ted Drewes for frozen custard.  Nat recalls fondly her visits to Ted Drewes during her time at Wash U, but I had never had the stuff before.  Serious Eats calls Ted Drewes a "national institution", so the stop was, ummm, warranted. 

We pulled into the generous parking lot and hopped out of the van.  You walk around to the street-side of the stand (see the photo below) and wait in the line to order.  All of us ordered our own concretes in the smallest format.  Micro or Mini, I don't remember.  They take cards, so no need to come with cash, but after you order, you kind of stand around and wait for them to call your item out - just like most every other ice cream stand. 

Their menu can…