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Thursday, June 28, 2012


Well, not everything here is "Dad".  I still work in the yard when I get the chance.  My latest project has been removing weedy tree saplings and brambles.

This is the debris...
The nastiest work was among the brambles.
They grab everything!  Clothes, socks, shoes, flesh...  I bled from many unexpected thorny encounters.  The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak.  Thorns beat skin almost every time.
But plants can't organize and move.  I can.  I won slowly (though painfully).  One square foot at a time...

I can imagine it from the bramble point of view.  "We tried to flee, but we were frozen in place as if stuck in the ground!  Closer and closer it came, our friends screaming as they were cut down mercilessly,  Finally, I was the only one left , I determined to defeat the terrible claws of the lopper, sure that my will would prevail.  Then it came.  The final contest arrived.  I willed my cells to..."

LOP!  The last dead bramble...
This is the view to the house from the toolshed..


And after...
Quite a difference!  I hate to say this, but I use Roundup.  Carefully, but not as the manufacturer recommends.  When I cut down the weedy tree saplings this time, I use a disposable brush and dab a bit of undiluted Roundup on the cut stump.  As Ripley said in 'Aliens' (I think, well, one of those), "Its the only way to be sure".

I should explain... The backyard is half mature trees and half open.  The half open part has my garden for 2/3s and a weird raised ridge between the trees and the garden.  It is slightly too sloped to mow easily, but mostly it has been taken over by english ivy.  I have no idea where the ivy came from, but it sure loves the ridge.

That ridge has always been a landscaping embarrassment.  I've tried to figure out what to do with it for 25 years and never come to a satisfactory conclusion.  Its just ugly, and I mean that in a "utility" sense.

It's too shaded for gardening and too sunlit for hostas.  It's too sloped to mow with the riding mower and my few attempts to use a regular gas manual mower have been exhausting.  Where there isn't english ivy, there is poison ivy and weedy saplings grow there happily.

When I stand out on my deck, the ridge is in the center of all I view.  It says "Oh try to dig me up.  I will outlast your puny pathetic personal muscular efforts; you are too old to defeat me now.  Remember when you tried to level off that ONE small hill of me?  You quit after only an hour.  You WIMP".   It says other things, but I can't repeat them in polite society.

I can either make my peace with the ridge or...  I can destroy it.  Yes, it is time to bring out the big gun.  An Excavator!  A PROFESSIONAL!  The ridge has to be leveled.  I realize that this is a personal fight with the local geography.  But while I'm generally inclined to let nature be nature, this ridge mocks me constantly.

I could have the ridge removed finally or move.

It goes, or I do...

It is going to go! Because I'M not.



ABBY said...

Mark I know how daunting that is. I still work on my brambles!!

Ramblingon said...

Good. Show it who is boss, my friend.

Shaggy and Scout said...

WOw! You just hacked right through those brambles! Great job!