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Stitched together from 17 Hipstamatic images snapped this morning from the back porch.

You can surmise a bit about local topography from this image: the band of semi-mature trees is rather thin, and beyond that lies a wetland (glimpsed at center-left) formed by a wide zone of underlying rock ledge that prevents water from draining and inhibits the growth of deep-rooted plants, notably deciduous trees.

The planted area is confined mostly to the foreground, and is meant to blend sympathetically into the surrounding woods β€” though in practical fact, the intentional plantings are left to run pretty wild, while the woodland has been significantly edited, by the thinning of tall evergreens, the making of paths, and the spotty introduction of new species. We’ve got now, for instance, 8 species of oak and a dozen varieties of Japanese maple.

I’ve always liked the thought β€” which arose among the British landed class, I imagine β€” that you should never plant a tree without consulting your heirs. My kids are all quite bossy and observant so this kind of thing takes care of itself.

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