Shawnee News-Star Weekender November 02 2019 Becky Emerson Carlberg The Ocean City Maryland shell defied our every effort.† While looking at the beach pictures one more time, I came across the picture of the shell that got away.† The whelk had come ashore during one of the tides and wedged itself between two breaker boulders.† […]

Shawnee News-Star Weekender November 02 2019

Finishing the Lemonery

Becky Emerson Carlberg

The Ocean City Maryland shell defied our every effort.† While looking at the beach pictures one more time, I came across the picture of the shell that got away.† The whelk had come ashore during one of the tides and wedged itself between two breaker boulders.† We probably spent over half an hour in gale force, sand pummeling winds trying to get our hands into the narrow isthmus to free the shell before the tide came in. Didn't happen.† That picture was certainly worth a thousand words, many unprintable.

The shell that refused to budge

Friday afternoon (Oct 25th) in pelting cold rain while standing in the Heart of the Japanese Garden, I planted a bright yellow chrysanthemum in front of the rock fountain. A spot of color in a wet sea of autumn drabness.† The chrysanthemum, Kiku in Japanese, is the Imperial Family emblem and featured on the Imperial Seal of Japan. 'Chrysos' means gold, the original color of the first chrysanthemum and 'Anthos' is flower.† In Japan, the chrysanthemum is considered the flower of autumn.† The cherry blossom, the Sakura, is the flower of spring.† The chrysanthemum in Japan has traditionally been crafted and cultured into elaborate horticultural shapes through meticulous guidance and pruning, employing techniques similar to those used in bonsai.† A bonsai is trained for years, but the chrysanthemum only for months.† In this country chrysanthemums are often trimmed to encourage blooming in autumn to brighten borders, gardens and landscapes as the countryside transitions into winter.

Yellow Chrysanthemum adding a splash of color

Early Saturday morning (Oct 26th) the Nikaho studentdelegation arrived at the Japanese Peace Garden.† The site was still partially flooded from torrentialrains that had previously fallen.† It wasa freezing, blustery morning and many of the delegates, both from Shawnee andNikaho, Japan, were provided blankets and gloves to keep warm.† Two strings of multi-colored origami cranes wereplaced on the Taylor Ricks redbud tree.†Taylor died in an accident on December 16th 2011.† He was a Shawnee student delegate who visitedNikaho, Japan in 2009 as part of the Sister Cities Exchange Program. The craneis considered a mythical long-lived creature in Japan.† It is the 'Bird of Happiness.'

After the brief ceremony, people then toured the soggygarden, stopping at the Tea House, the Heart and for pictures on the Bridge ofUnderstanding. †Host families then pickedup the delegates for their next excursion at the Citizen Potawatomi EagleAviary.†

Noon we drove to Tulsa to cheer on Ellie, geophysics student and one of the contestants in the University of Tulsa (TU) chili cookoff.† TU students, faculty and staff concocted their best chilis for the competition.† Two trestle tables were lined with crock pots and Dutch ovens.† Spoons, small cups, crackers, chips, cornbread, even cr√®me Brule and candy corn were available.† Each chili had its own imaginative name reflecting the department or cook.† At another table were hot dogs, cheese and fritos to go with the chilis.† We sampled turkey, beef, venison, and vegetarian chilis.† One chili was laced with a heavy dose of Samuel Adams.† Loaded with South Asian spices was the pungent tangy non-traditional Indian (think India) chili.† Ms Ellie's rich beef and bean chili won the traditional category. She was elated as she received two 2019 Traditional Chili aprons and a goody bag for her superb effort.

Placing a memorial crane wreath

Late afternoon, the clouds had departed and the sun shonebrightly. TU Golden Hurricane played the Memphis Tigers.† It was not only a home game but the TUhomecoming.† Alumni and students held tailgateget-togethers along the streets.† In thelarge damp grass field of Chapman Commons were party tents.† The large Official Homecoming Tent Party hostedby TU Alumni had free hamburgers and beer.†The nearby stage, flanked by amplifiers and speakers, featured 'My So CalledBand,' a retro 90's tribute group.† They playeda diverse selection of songs with various instruments, vocalists, impressive drumsand penetrating base.†

The game started.† Memphistook the lead, but Tulsa came back strong in the second half.† Two seconds away from the end of the game,Memphis was one point ahead.† Tulsa hadpositioned themselves in the center for the game-winning 29 yard fieldgoal.† The red-shirt freshman kicked theball, it veered off to the side, and Memphis won the game.† Heartbreak at TU.† ††

This past week's big project was the new greenhouse.† The two lemon trees had run their course in the green plastic bubble and one had managed to send shoots out the side and top.† Pushing them through the front door into the house for another winter had been met with loud protests.† The money saved for a spring trip to the Netherlands and Keukenhof Park with seven million tulip, daffodil and other bulbs exploding into vivid colors was reluctantly re-directed.† †

Assembling the Lemonery

Big Creek Nursery and Landscape outside of Cushing, OK, wasestablished in 2009.† You've seen theirgreenhouses around town.† The 8' x 16'greenhouse they delivered three years ago had been prebuilt to ourspecifications.† The hothouse has done anadmirable job.† At least the Plumeria,Hibiscus, pineapples, spider plants, ferns and other tropicals have survivedthe winters.†

My idea for the 'Lemonery' deviated from the standard design.† Big Creek had to plan a different approach.† The greenhouse would be 8' x 10' but needed additionalventilation since the trees would be year-round residents.†† It had to be built onsite behind the othergreenhouse and constructed around the lemon trees.† A tall order.

Big Creek came through.†Alvie, seven years a Master Craftsman with Big Creek, his wife and youngson arrived in a large Ford pickup pulling an auburn colored horse trailerfilled with lumber and pre-made sections.†Stacked with the wood was enough blue metal edging, sheets ofdouble-walled polycarbonate panels, two doors with windows and six automaticopening windows to cover the 8' x 10' greenhouse.

In six hours the plastic bubble had been moved away and thegreenhouse was finished.† Inside, thetrees spread out in all directions trying to reach to the sky. They like beingoutdoors. †I hope the two stay warm andcozy through the autumn and winter.† Tokeep them company I moved in three red sages and some Nasturtiums, all still inbloom.

Twelve universities, colleges and schools (includingOklahoma Baptist University) have the bison as mascot.† Today is National Bison Day, celebrated thefirst Saturday every November.†

North American bison were hunted nearly to extinction, from 30million to 541 animals, by 1888.† Notonly is the bison an important symbol of this country, but the species ishelping preserve the Tallgrass prairies.†Today the 25th roundup is being held at The NatureConservancy's J. H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve north of Pawhuska.† The herd of feisty bovines is annually culledto maintain a target population while all animals are given check-ups, weighedand vaccinated.†

The last bison that lived in the area was killed in1851.† From the original 300 bisonbrought to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve years ago, now 2,500 bison call the Preservehome, home on the range.