Today after work I went over to Ken’s house. Our mission was to go to Lowes and buy eight sugar maples so they could be planted along the edge of the new playground.

After feeding his cows, we hopped in his truck and drove to Lowes. They had maples all right, but no sugar maples. Instead, they had a mix of red maples (Acer rubrum) and a couple of hybrids that I had never heard of. I can only remember one of them now, and that’s what they called “Autumn blaze” (Acer x fremani). When I looked at it, I thought it was a silver maple (Acer sacharinum) because the leaves had the same shape (deep sinuses) and a silver underside (as does the silver maple). I was happy to learn when I got home that Acer x fremani is a cross between Acer rubrum and Acer sacharinum, so it was indeed half silver maple.

I don’t remember the name of the other cultivar – red something or another, but not plain red maple. I just checked the receipt. It was a Red Sunset maple, which is a cultivar of regular red maple. Cool.

The good thing is that you can tap red maple and get good syrup from them. That was the reason we wanted sugar maples in the first place, even though it will be years before these could be tapped. We dropped them off at the church, but I have no idea when they will be planted.

Then we went back to his farm where my car was. Lowes also had some apple trees for sale, and a redbud. I was tempted. I would like to have some fruit trees. Ken confessed that he has a weakness for fruit trees, and he is particularly fond of McGowan apples (if I spelled that correctly). He offered to pick one for me when we got to his place, and I gladly accepted. It is a very good apple, so if I can find them, I will buy a couple. I’d also like to get some plum trees.

Then I drove home, knowing that Beth would be there by the time I arrived. And she was! I kinda missed her while she was in Maine. She was excited to see me too and spent several minutes telling me about Outdoor School. She paddled a kayak (on a lake) and got stung by a yellow jacket. I guess those were the highlights.

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