|A near miss--toppled white spruces, one day after|
|Toppled Milding apple tree after some limbing|
|Stayman Winesap on the ground after the storm|
I had another excuse as well; early in the summer I wrenched my back trying to lift a window in a motel room that had been nailed shut, and instead of resting it I continued to do the physical work required around this place until I had to see a doctor, who told me in mid-August to stop everything that involved twisting or lifting anything heavier than a bag full of garbage. After consulting the doctor, and doctor Google as well, I opted for a course of physical therapy rather than back surgery. I have been doing these exercises twice daily ever since, and although my back still hurts from exertion, I am resilient and able to recover quickly and thus able to do what needs to be done around this country house, whether wrestling with the two-wheeled tractor, wielding the chainsaw, and so forth.
Besides, in the spring semester of 2016 (January through early May) I emerged from retirement to go back to teaching, holding the Basler Chair at ETSU, giving a series of public lectures, hosting a symposium on music, sound, and environment, and doing a number of other things in Johnson City, Tennessee and environs. One unexpected pleasure was meeting some outstanding musicians, Roy Andrade and Corbin Hayslett, who played guitar duets and trios with me, on the fiddle tunes I’ve been adapting to slack-key guitar. With the end of the semester in early May, I was able to return to New England and experience a second spring.
|Row of onion sets after one week|
Apple trees are blooming surprisingly well after such a good prior year; usually they are biennial, and besides, this past winter was mild, which usually means fewer blossoms. But the trees apparently did not listen, and have bloomed as if expecting another season of harsh weather. The Prima is in full bloom now, others earlier or (like the exquisite-tasting Golden Russet) later.
|Prima in early bloom|