Saturday, October 31, 2009

Apple Tree and Fractals

This apple tree on the north side of the house is probably older than dirt. It's really gnarly and big. The trunk is 18 inches diameter (yes, 18 inches. yes, diameter. - I just measured it!). I always think of fractals when I see it. You know fractals, right? The things where the shape is the same, no matter which scale you look at it (the whole thing looks the same as a branch, or a part of a branch). I know this is a terrible explanation, so if I've confused you, look it up. Fractals.

Here is a part of the tree.

If I go in even further and take another picture, it looks the same. Like I could keep going in and it would look the same. Twigs on twigs, smaller and smaller to infinity.

The tree didn't bear this year. I think I'll leave it be and let it be the grandpa of all my other apple trees (most of which didn't bear either.... hm). It looks like it's had a hard life. A big fallen branch has provided cooking wood for some yummy meat earlier in the summer. A few times.

I've been practicing for November, the month where everything is good again and nobody in my house hurts anymore. I came home from work early yesterday, got the lawn cut and the first coat of green paint on the front door and got the ATV started. This morning I washed windows and put up the rest of the storms before breakfast (yes, I'm that kind of early bird), and got all the chamfers cut on the wood for the raised beds before the sky started spitting too much. I don't think a jigsaw was the right tool for cutting the chamfers. They are VERY uneven. Oh well. It was the tool I had.

I was really proud to have gotten the ATV started all by myself without calling some man for help. I've always had the idea that so much of this stuff falls in the man's realm that sometimes I don't try hard enough.

Here's a story from, oh about 1990, when I had just moved in with the man who was to become my husband (and later my ex-husband), and we were rehabbing the house we lived in. My job was girl stuff, like painting, sanding, you know. He worked nights. So one night, my job was to re-hang the heating vents after I had painted them. I tried, and the holes didn't match up. I called him to tell him I couldn't do it and he said (life changing statement here...), "why don't you drill new holes?" (You mean like, use a ... a drill????) After I got over that hurdle, I started to become friends with other tools, and here I am now, getting things started all by myself! Now if only I could do that with some of my other things... There's probably a lesson here, but I'm going to ignore it and go take a nap. Maybe it will go away.


  1. Yeah, don't mention it to my husband, but 13 years ago when we were married, his dad's wedding gift to us was power tools...drill,a set of drill bits, circular saw, jigsaw, maybe something 13 years, I think I've logged more tool hours than he has, but he shares, so that's OK! Keep up the good work. We'll keep checking on you!

  2. I agree on the apple tree - I definitely see fractals there!

    I grew up in a single-parent household, so it never really occurred to me to think of tasks in terms of gender -except maybe some car stuff. This was a good thing, as DH has absolutely no mechanical aptitude, so I'm always the one who fixes things around here :) He jokes that I'm the "man of the house" :)

  3. That's funny. My family saves broken things for me, so that when I visit, I have a small pile of things to fix! I'm the tool-iest in my family, that's for sure!