2016
Jackson and Ben knocked this year's mistletoe out of a large oak in the woods at Deana and Martin's house using my old 410. It was the nicest harvest we have ever had. 

2015
Jackson and I used his pellet gun to again shoot a sprig out of Mr Tommy's oak tree. Amy, Ben, Mark and Jack joined us on the street to watch the show.

2014
I used Jackson's pellet gun to shoot a sprig out of Mr Tommy's oak tree on Christmas Eve.

2012
We were so busy this year with basketball, scouts and other stuff that we were not able to find a day to go mistletoe hunting.  So on Christmas Eve, on our way to Hama's house, we took a few shots at mistletoe in Mr. Tommy's yard, then stopped by our old favorite tree from 2005-2010.  With just one shot from Ben's slingshot, we got two perfect sized bunches.  It worked out great.

2011
No photos this year, but we had a lot of fun.  After six years of hitting up the same tree in Claudville, we tried something new this season.  I noticed a big clump of mistletoe high in our neighbor Tommy's yard and ran to get Ben's slingshot.  The project peaked the Bevards' interest and they joined us in knocking down a couple of nice branches.  We got ours with the slingshot, they got theirs with Jack's paint gun, which worked really well. 

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005
 

I honestly have no idea if anyone else gets their own mistletoe, or if they get real mistletoe at all for that matter, but for me it's another Christmas tradition.  As a boy it was my job to get the mistletoe we hung above the entrance to our den.   In those early days, I collected mistletoe with buckshot and a 4-10 shotgun.  I stood underneath giant oak trees and took aim at nests of green perched high above in bare oak branches.  Now that I'm anti-gun, getting mistletoe out of the trees presents more of a challenge.  In these parts, mistletoe is typically found very high in solitary oak trees or in an isolated stand of trees.  Mistletoe seeds are transplanted by birds and birds typically light in trees on the edge of fields and roads or in open areas like front yards.   Since you can't just go knocking things out of a tree in someone's front yard, you have to not only find mistletoe low enough that you can reach it, but also in an accessible remote spot.  Until now that meant finding old trees in front of abandoned farm houses.  But this year we found a wonderful tree standing in a hollow between a wooden fence and a dirt road.  Jackson sat on top of the van to document the harvest, Ben watched from his car-seat, and I climbed the tree.  We only took a little, so hopefully we'll be able to come right back to the same spot next year without having to look for it.  Although most of the fun is in the hunt. 

Jackson loves it because he's five and the whole kissing thing is such a big deal.   

Below are photos from our second 2005 harvest.  The first bunch dried up, so we went back for more.

2004
Sunday 12/12/2004.  A fun family tradition, the harvesting of mistletoe.  This is the third and last year for this spot by an abandoned farm house in Claudville.   It should have lasted longer, but I've been a little greedy each year and not left enough behind.  It was a great spot because you could reach the mistletoe by standing on top of the van.  But I'll keep my eye out over the next year for another good tree. 

 

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