Cedar-apple rust, intriguingly off-earth in its form, exuded orange slime when, cut from the tree, it hit the ground. I jumped out of its path. Unlike in East Hampton, where we chose a Rome apple tree with sinuous limbs, here we planted a Kwanzan cherry and an Aristocrat pear. Maybe it’s the gorgeous crabapple, the centerpiece of a lawn a half mile away, that infects our cedars with the fungus each spring.
My post title is borrowed from the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. I’ve only seen the first, which I viewed before my shoot for New York Magazine with Josh Pais, who voiced Raphael, a member of the band of reptiles (and who, a decade later, began a recurring role on “SVU”). The Turtles lift manhole covers (impossibly heavy in the real world, requiring a specialized tool) to climb down into the sewers. I rented an excellent wooden facsimile from a prop house, but not as convincing as the recently acquired, featherweight trompe l’oeil mat in Bea and John’s guest bathroom.