Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | May 8, 2013

White Pines, Lupines and Life Lessons

Last week we finally finished planting the 50 baby-sized White Pines I purchased from the Allegan County Conservation Extension this spring.

We are slowly replacing the row of mature 75-year-old White Pines that Consumer’s Energy cut down last fall. They claimed that our beautiful and mature trees were growing too close to their lines. (You can tell I was very unhappy with their decision.)


I argued that these trees were our wind break, that they kept the gravel dust from billowing across the 300 ft. and into our home, that they provided nesting spots for our birds as well as providing oxygen for the air and soaked up a lot of water in our seasonally flooded are. As well as one of the top five reasons we bought this property!

Consumers Energy does not care. And, even though I fought all the way to the top, natural resources do not win in the state of Michigan.  And, unfortunately someone who lived here before us had signed an egress agreement many years ago giving them permission to do whatever they wanted on this property. Lesson learned – be VERY careful what you sign today.


A friend sent me this quote, after I mentioned planting trees I won’t see to mature.

I’ve bought perennials and fruit trees from the extension previously. A few years ago we bought 20 pink Day Lily’s and 20 native purple Lupines that love the sandy soil and sun that we have here. I lost about half of them in the flood, but surprisingly the other half of them survived and have gone on to reseed. Now that is a testimony to the durability of native plants!


I photographed these Lupines last year in the nearby Allegan Forest. They are a protected plant due to the rare and protected Karner Blue Butterfly that frequent these large areas of native Lupine plantings.

Then came the news of our flood extension ditch. To save my plants, I dug those I could out and repotted them before the construction work began. But because Lupines have a deep central root system and do no transplant , I just gave up of those. I had however staked and roped off the narrow garden bed where the Lupines were planted and some survived. I am delighted!

Optimism and hope springs eternal in the natural world. We can learn a life lesson from that!

Small House / Big Sky Donna



  1. I do enjoy your blog! We have moved around quite a bit over the years and even though I have hated to leave the hard work that made a place a home, it was comforting to know that we had left it much prettier and more inviting to those people and creatures who happen upon it in the future.

  2. Thanks so much for your compliments. Its good to know that other too want to leave a place better than they found it. Points for heaven maybe?

  3. Oh that is sad about your old trees. I love the quote your friend sent you….beautiful.

    • Thank you for understanding. It was horrible. I stood and watched them going down and cried.

      I hate that they are gone, but have had to turn our efforts to saving our home from the flooding. So things quickly get put into perspective.

      Thanks for stopping by the small house under a big sky!

  4. There is a beautiful story about Lupines that I have read to my children for years. It is called Mrs. Rumphius. It a a children’s picture book, but the story is really neat! It has made me love lupines! Life to the full! Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    • Thanks so much about sharing the name of the children book. I was not aware of it. I have a four year old grand daughter and I’ll be sure to look it up. Thanks also for your kind words. I always appreciate someone stopping by the Small House!

      Small House / Big Sky Donna

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: