Fluff Festival

When we bought this house and started to get to know the neighbors, almost all of them advised us to get rid of our cottonwoods. Since one reason we actually LIKED the neglected house was the fact that it had so many mature trees, we weren’t exactly ready to rip out the chain saw just yet.

“Just wait till the fluff comes out.”

“It’s hideous – it gets everywhere!”

“Ohhhh… so YOU’RE the new owner of the infamous Cottonwood Corner?”

“Love what you’re doing to the house. You’re getting rid of those trees right?”

“Cottonwoods are junk trees.”

I even heard rumors that a nearby neighbor was highly allergic to them. I asked her about it, and she said she’s not really allergic, she just hates them.

“I dunno, they probably could use some pruning… but I guess I’ll wait and see what happens,” has been my standard reply. Meanwhile, in this past month’s Mayor’s letter to the town, he advised everyone to plant a tree for Arbor Day. He said he’d looked all over town and couldn’t find the Grove in Pleasant Grove. Apparently he’s never seen my yard. Another day, while looking for info on trails in the canyons nearby, we found out our city was actually named for the groves of cottonwood trees that used to grow here.

Now, just a few weeks later, the fluff festival has begun. I have to admit it’s a bit messy. We open our door and funny little floating things fly in. They are all over the yard too but not yet like “six inches of snow” as one person suggested they’d be.

Maybe it’s that we’re still a bit apathetic about the yard fixups yet since we’re too busy trying to put a kitchen together, but they’re not bothering me. In fact, not only do I not mind the fluffiness, I think it’s terribly romantic. Almost like petals falling from the sky in a celebratory parade. Only it doesn’t really fall… it just sort of floats around. Much as I’d like to appease the neighbors (I do like them) and their would-be-fluff-free-neatly-trimmed yards, I really can’t see cutting these down. Pruning them, maybe. Getting rid of them? I really don’t think so.

Yesterday I walked four miles and didn’t see another cottonwood tree anywhere. Tonight I’ll take another route, but gauging the sentiments of the neighborhood, I sortof doubt I’ll find any. Perhaps it’s my duty to let these little puffs be, so they’ll find a home (even if it’s in the blm land just a few blocks away), repopulate, and make this a pleasant grove once again. And I’m afraid I’m going to have to start having an annual fluff festival celebration… starting next year of course when we’re not knee-deep in home repairs 🙂

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