Saturday, April 29, 2006

Today was a day of oneness with the soil...or should I say oneness with the clippers? No, I didn't go whacking on my hair. I did, however, do some serious pruning.

I spent about five hours in the yard today, happily puttering about. I mowed the front yard weeds and the back yard grass. I edged. I put out weed killer in the front yard and watered the back yard. I then started pruning my rose of sharon bush-turned-tree. It had fallen over this winter during a snow storm. With tears in my eyes, I went ahead and pruned off about a fourth of its weight on the low side, primarily this main trunk. I had to use the saw and hacked away for quite a while.

Taking a break, I popped inside to swig some Gatorade and call the county for a brush pickup. After that, it was back outside to haul my clippings to the curb. But then I started thinking that it was a pitiful excuse for a special trip, so I headed back inside and brought my step ladder up from the basement.

Precariously perched on the top of it, I pruned back several branches of the mulberry tree that were tangled in the phone and cable lines. Next, I turned my attention to the wisteria. My neighbor, two years ago, cut back three quarters of it because it was touching the top of his shed. My heart broke, not at the sight of all of it lying in my yard for me to clean up, but at the bare branches that were left. I used the ladder to get to the top of my two sheds and pruned it back away from his shed, weaving some of the branches back toward my yard.

Now the pile out front is quite respectable.

I finished by resetting all the stones that border the long, curved flowerbed in the back yard. They were covered with mulch and had sunk into the soil. Doing so took about an hour as I removed them, smoothed the soil, and put them back in place. I also mounded the mulch in the bed as I moved along the ground.

I was tomato-faced by the time I finished my labors for the day, but I really enjoyed my time out there, hard work sprinkled with playing catch with Kashi. I spent another hour lying on the deck lounge chair just admiring my labors and watching the birds enjoying the fresh seed I put out for them. I have bluejays, cardinals, morning doves, chickadees, sparrows, robins, golden finches, house finches, wrens, and some barely tolerated black birds. Fancy joined me for a while, but she really hasn't spent time outside since Madison joined our family and was quite nervous most of the time. I felt bad about that and resolved to have them both outside more.

After putting the laundry in the washing machine a short while ago, I took a long, hot shower. Blanching myself under the steaming water, I savored the moment a bit too long. Funny, I knew that I should have gotten out once I started to grow weak. But it is just so comforting to have the strong spray cascading warmth down from head to toe. Needless to say, I keeled over in the bathroom while drying my hair with a towel, banging my head on the toilet.

Here I sit on the couch with a bag of ice on my lump...feeling foolish...yet wanting to get one more look at my beautiful back yard.

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