What’s that? I wondered as I walked in town last week, noticing hangy brown things on a tree from the corner of my eye.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen cones hanging from a tree before. They’re always on the ground. Or outside the supermarket, scented with cinnamon.
There were tons of them! All on the top branches. I just stood there in awe on the side of the road looking up.
Cones hanging from a tree!
In NYC, I often noticed plastic bags hanging from trees.
New Yorker writer Ian Frazier talked about the phenomenon in a great movie, Blue in the Face, the improvised sequel to Smoke. Two years after the movie came out, he patented a “bag snagger” and made it his mission to pluck bags from NYC trees (mainly the small deli variety, he noted).
Nearly three decades later, according to his most recent article on the topic, Frazier has dissolved his company; apparently the snaggers were too expensive to manufacture any longer. While the new NYC law banning most plastic bags went into effect shortly before the pandemic, I presume the tree bags still endure to some degree. He closes his article by challenging the new generation to carry on his cause with a cheaper version of his snagger.
As for my tree, after some reading, I think it might be a spruce. Apparently, fir tree cones point upward. Spruces’ point downward. And pine needles are long and thin. But I don’t know. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
While it’s unquestionably delightful to live near trees that bear natural matter, I sometimes long for NYC, bags in trees, and all.
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