Mother Nature and Old Man Winter decided to play nice together two weeks before Christmas and Jamie and I had a beautiful day to go out and find our tree with temperatures actually in the low 40's. By golly, it was downright balmy compared to the weather we'd been having!
For some reason, I had gotten it into my head that this year we were going to make the drive out to Voluntown to get our tree at Hartikka's Tree Farm. I have no idea why as I've never been out there before and it's a bit further out than other places but it had stuck in my head when looking at lists of tree farms in the area so off we went to find this year's 'perfect' tree.
In all honesty, whenever I go to a tree farm I have to wonder why o' why didn't I just go to a place where the trees were already cut and just waiting for you to say "I'll take that one!" rather than finding myself facing rows upon rows of trees of all types and shapes with the daunting task of picking out just one. At Hartikka's the choices are even wider as they've got Fraser Fir, Canaan Fir, Douglas Fir, Balsam Fir, Concolor Fir, White Spruce, Colorado Blue Spruce, Serbian Spruce, and White Pine - whew! It's enough to make you stand in the middle of the fields with your head spinning while visions of sugarplums dance ... oh wait, wrong story!
Back on track - one of the reasons Hartikka's had stuck in my head was because they had Blue Spruce which I knew to have rather (really!) sharp needles and I was thinking that perhaps sharp needles would be a better deterrent for Tesla the Terrible! I was torn between that and a Fraser Fir which are supposed to have THE best needle retention as well as being the more fragrant of the conifer trees but if memory serves, we had a Fraser Fir last year and it neither smelled like we had a Christmas tree in the house nor did it hold its needles all that well.
As Jamie and I made our way through the fields with me trying to make heads or tails out of the map I had been given that showed which trees were where and Jamie carrying the saw, we soon came upon this fine specimen of potential Christmas tree ...
Just to make sure that this was the ONE, we checked out a couple other trees in the general vicinity but Jamie decided that she really liked the color on this tree, that the shape looked good, and that we should claim it as ours. Which we did ...
Being that I don't move very well these days and getting down on the ground with a saw probably would have meant I'd still be there now, Jamie did the honors of crawling under the tree to figure out how to fell the fella.
I helped out by holding onto the top of the tree and applying a little pressure in the opposite direction to facilitate better sawing. Aren't I helpful? And talented, too, as I still managed to take pictures with one hand holding on to the tree! Oh, and see how sharp those needles look? That's what I 'm talking about as a natural cat repellent - I hope!
Meanwhile, under the tree, Jamie was diligently applying the saw to the trunk.
Finally - success!
By request I took a picture of the good job that she did cutting the tree down - she kind of figured I'd be doing a blog post and wanted some sort of bragging rights apparently!
Looks pretty proud of herself, doesn't she??
I had to pause for a moment to take a picture so that I could show you the difference between a Colorado Blue Spruce and a Fir - the Blue Spruces most definitely DO look blue when they're next to other trees - that could be why they're called "Blue Spruces", huh?
At this point, Jamie had the tree all loaded up onto the pull cart and we were ready to make our way back up to the baling area.
I think she was asking for a little help in that last picture! Once we made it back up near the parking area, we handed the tree over to the guys who were running the baler and soon we had a tree that was going to be a lot easier to get into the car!
After paying for our tree, picking out a wreath to hang on the front door, and getting everything loaded in the car we walked over to take a look at the horse-drawn wagon rides that they were having.
We had actually thought about climbing on board and taking a turn around the fields but there was a sign on the back that listed prices for the rides and we decided instead to just take a few more pictures and head towards home. After all, the day was wasting away and I still had a long list of things to try to get done.
Once we got home, we cut another inch or two off the bottom of the tree in order to make sure it had a fresh cut for water, took off some of the lower branches in order to give the trunk room for the tree stand, and then brought it into the living room where I realized that it was actually a rather short tree - or at least shorter than what we've had for trees in the past. Having rather high ceilings, I decided that perhaps we should bring the tree up off of the floor a bit to make it at least seem a bit taller as well as give us more room for whatever presents might eventually end up underneath.
After digging out the lights and the garland and the tinsel Jamie and I decorated the tree that she had named Nicolai as she said it had to have a name. Okay ... sure, why not? Even though we are foregoing any of the many ornaments that I've got this year as we aren't sure how Tesla is going to do with a tree, I think it came out looking pretty good - at least when the lights are on and I'm not using the flash on the camera!
In the end, Jamie had to change the name of the tree to Vanessa, though, as we've decided that it's actually a female tree being that it has no balls - I know, I know, just move on! What the tree does have though is a rather curious feline who decided he just had to check out the new object in the living room ...
So far so good as Tesla seems to like to look at the tree from the arm of the couch ... though part of me is rather afraid he's going to try to decide to pounce one of these evenings though when he does, the power of the prickly needles should have him scampering in the other direction quicker than you can say "It's less than two weeks until Christmas!"