Snake! Wait, snake? (and other questions)

I noticed something momentarily exciting yesterday:


What certainly must be a snake climbing high up in my pine tree! I haven't seen a snake in the garden for a few years, and they're one of the things that I've been trying to attract -- any reptiles really. So this sighting was exciting!


***

Another second or two and my excitement turned to disappointment...


...and confusion. I realized that this was clearly not a snake, but just one of the tree's own branches...


...inexplicably growing around the trunk. Sure this is a twisted white pine (Pinus strobus 'Torulosa') and can have twisted branches, but why would this one branch twist so severely when all of the others are just barely wiggling?


Now I wonder how I'm going to get that branch off, as I surely don't want to let it continue to grow around the trunk -- although that might slow down the growth of this thing a bit. It's put on at least 18" (45cm) of height a year, even though the tag and other references say to expect a third of that or less.


So that's one question. Another is...


...what exactly is living underneath my woody stick compost pile?


I wonder if somebody I know has a game camera that I could borrow?


As long as I'm asking questions, why did I forsake garden ornaments for so long?


This bed would be "boring" without the fire hydrant!


Another question that I know the answer to already: what happened to the fall colors?


There are some trees giving a display, but the majority went straight for yellowish-brown this year, I'm assuming because it has been so very dry for the last month or so. Just a hint of orange in the sugar maple this year -- more brown than usual.


The last had to be forced into question form:


How will I manage without the castor bean/banana combination for the next nine months or so? They combine to dominate this half of the yard (and the view from the deck). So impressive and you can see them from almost everywhere back here. Sigh.

Any other questions?

.

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outlawgardener  – (October 21, 2015 at 9:22 AM)  

Why is the sky blue? Where do babies come from? Are we there yet? Can you explain God? Why is there not world Peace? Why can't we all just get along? (Well, you asked!)

As for your last question, "How will I manage without the castor bean/banana combination for the next nine months or so?" have you considered anti depressants? Maybe you could paint a mural of the combination to stand where they were.

Alan  – (October 21, 2015 at 9:45 AM)  

Peter: Why is the sky blue? (molecular scattering) Where do babies come from? (their parents) Are we there yet? (unfortunately, yes) Can you explain God? (no) Why is there not world Peace? Why can't we all just get along? (We gardeners do!)

Maywyn Studio  – (October 21, 2015 at 10:23 AM)  

The branch...one of the has to do the twist.
Good luck with whatever is living in your compost pile.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (October 21, 2015 at 11:29 AM)  

I totally would have though that was a snake! How exciting THAT would hve been?

As for other questions: Will somebody clean the house for me today?

Alan  – (October 21, 2015 at 11:39 AM)  

Gerhard: Will somebody clean the house for me today? (probably not... wait, you have kids who can be "convinced" to do your chores, so "yes".)

Emily Khan  – (October 21, 2015 at 12:31 PM)  

That branch is more interesting than a snake, I think! Too bad you have to remove it, but I agree that a girdling branch may not be the best situation for the long term. :-(

Mark and Gaz  – (October 21, 2015 at 3:30 PM)  

Fascinating phenomenon with the branch! The castor bean and banana combo is something to look forward to next year :)

Anonymous –   – (October 21, 2015 at 7:45 PM)  

Your own Garden of Eden!

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