Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It Ain't Nothing But A Tree Thing, Baby

Brown's Head Light House
The Rock
February, 2005


With a house full of little critters (Babette, Maneki Neko, and the newly welcomed Marcel Duchamp) — a tiny little tabletop tree seemed the appropriate decor this season. We figured that it would be easier then yelling — "Get out of there! Get down!" — at the 'kids' every 10 minutes. We put the leash on Marcel, hopped in the car, and drove out to the woods in search of the perfect specimen.

After a long walk through the wilderness (of The Rock) and a little beach-combing, we stumbled upon the little tree — about waist high, and ideally conical. With my trusty, rusty bowsaw in hand — I bent down and took care of business. A minute later, we were walking back to the car, tree perched over my shoulder.

When we returned home, I opened the trunk of the car to the unpleasant smell of, what can only be described as, cat urine. If you have never had the smell visit your olfactory receptors, consider yourself very fortunate — if you have, however, you know the smell I was smelling. The tree did not make it's way into the house.

I conveyed this story to a friend who, at the end of my telling, said, "Oh, you must have gotten a skunk spruce." Indeed, I had.

A little research, please, and yes, Picea glauca or, the White Spruce (also known as Canadian Spruce, Eastern Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, Skunk Spruce and, oh, yeah, the Cat Spruce) — it was the last two caught my interest (and attention). Apparently, the white spruce, as a defense mechanism has, not only, stiff and sharp needles — but when young and immature, a distinctive odor; foul (when young) — but pleasant when older. How very interesting. How very foul.

We will be out looking for a new (kinder, gentler, sweeter smelling) tree this weekend — or making one out of an old Readers Digest.


The Klezmatics: Hanukah Tree (Hanukkah)
(Buy: The Klezmatics: Woody Guthrie's Happy Joyous Hanukkah)

Vince Guaraldi Trio: O Tannenbaum
(Buy: Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas)

Radiohead: Fake Plastic Trees
(Buy: Radiohead: The Bends)

Brenda Lee: Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
(Buy: Brenda Lee: Jingle Bell Rock)

Belly: Feed The Tree
(Buy: Belly: Star)

Dr. Dre w/ Snoop (Doggy) Dogg: Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang
(Buy: The Chronic)

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