Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our Christmas tree

For a $10.00 fee, you can buy a permit from the U.S. Forest Service to cut a Christmas tree in certain designated areas of the Santa Fe National Forest.

So...we decided that would be something different to do for our first Christmas here in Santa Fe.

We drove yesterday up into the mountains north of Pecos. This is an area of spectacular scenery and they have miles and miles of the forest land available for tree cutting.

Trouble is, finding a good tree is a challenge...we found it an almost impossible challenge. We must have looked around at hundreds of trees, tramping around in the snow (and some mud) to find something acceptable. We looked at blue spruce and Ponderosa pines. The trees were definitely not the perfectly shaped full trees that you find in town at the tree lots and stores.

So .. we realized that in order to cut a tree up in the mountains, we were going to have to settle for something other than our usual tree and get creative. In fact that was John's word when I tried to wimp out: "This tree will be a challenge and we will need to be creative."

So we found what we decided was the best of the bunch that we looked at, and we cut it down and brought it home. It's a blue spruce, and there were lots of really good branches at the bottom of the tree that John was able to cut off to use to make a wreath or two. In fact, the wreaths might be better looking than that tree will.

It was very cold up in the mountains - there are some places that little sun gets to, and quite a bit of snow still on the ground from the last snowfall a week ago. We brought lots of winter gear to put on to stay warm, but didn't need as much as we thought we would. And John remembered to bring a thermos of hot chocolate, which was a great idea when we got cold.

So...we now face the creative challenge -- how to make this scrawny tree look good!


Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon. Looks better than our "Christmas bush", a small fake Charile Brown type tree, if we can call it a tree.

Also, we also like the bizjjcochitos. yum! Red

Buck said...

I don't think that's a bad looking tree at all. All y'all should be able to do great things with it, and I'm looking forward to pics of the "final product."

I cut my own tree all the years I lived in Oregon, so I understand how it is... trying to find a "perfect" tree in the forest. They don't exist. But you do find trees that are perfectly acceptable and it's a great day out, to boot!

Funny story: My boss (an ex-enlisted 1Lt about 40 years old) accompanied TSMP and I on our Christmas tree cutting foray into the woods one of those years. He chose a tree that had to be at least 15 feet tall, against the warnings of all of us (his wife, oldest child, TSMP, and myself).. he was adamant he could "make it work." Long story short: He whacked off both the top and the bottom of the tree... just to get it into the house. The resulting middle two-thirds of the tree was just comical as all Hell to look at... and his wife said "that thing has GOTTA go!" So... the forest-cut tree went to the curb and they were off to the Christmas tree lot. A Happy Ending... sorta. ;-)

booboo said...

Merry Christmas

Julianne said...

Fantastic photos..! I love Christmas tree hunting.