The Secret of the Ooze (Stillwater Diary)

Cedar-apple rust, Stone Ridge, NY, 5/8/17

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.

Josh Pais, Washington Street, NYC, 1990

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2 Responses to The Secret of the Ooze (Stillwater Diary)

  1. Joyce says:

    What an amazing looking growth, your poor cedars!!!!

    • Hi, Joyce
      I’ve thought of you often lately and how lucky you are to be living in an enlightened western democracy (with excellent food and wine).
      The cedars, so far, have survived the cedar-apple rust but the lovely Rome apple tree and a hawthorne (which although not named, is also a type of tree susceptible to the fungus), did not. Their leaves got ugly spots, eventually fell off and new buds didn’t form the following year.
      Hope all is well and that you enjoyed the weekend. Here we’ve had two days of mid-July weather and two more are forecast. Great (I like the heat), but certainly not good. And, as you know, the moron-in-chief withdrew us from the Paris Accord.

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