Yesterday my wife mowed the lawn. That was a bit of a messy task, given how wet the lawn has been. She left tire tracks all over the place. But it had to be done. It is raining again as I write this. The amusing bit, however, was when she tried to mow under the silver maple tree. We have this beautiful tree, maybe 25 years old, and it grows, like all silver maples, faster than most trees. The branches have been hanging lower and lower, some of them almost reaching the ground. The mower has taken a wider and wider path around the tree. It just gets too scratchy trying to blast through the low branches. So I took some action.
I started yesterday, clipping the lowest branches. I had a good pile of branches going before I quit. Today I busted out a ladder and finished the job. Well, I finished the trimming part. I had a big honking pile of brush by the time I was done, and my son was having a blast playing in it. He has the peddle ride on tractor and he started by hauling the branches into the woods. He got tired of that after, I don’t know, one load, and then just romped in the leaves and sticks. He sat neck deep next to his “crashed” tractor. He wanted to have a picnic in the pile. I got him a cup of pretzels.
Later, once the sun had dried things a little, I started in on the endless house painting project. One corner of the house has some lovely lilac and pine trees surrounding it. It looks nice but it was a bear trying to move around them. So I busted out the saw. I have been meaning to prune these anyway. Last winter we would be kept awake by the pines scraping the side of the house whenever it got windy enough. Those wily branches needed to go. I lopped and sawed and now I’ve got some room to work.
I had one other issue, however. We had two bushes on the south side of the house, the same one I am trying to get painted first. One of them succumbed to what we think was some kind of fungus. I cut that puppy down in the spring. The other one is now kicking the bucket and I need to cut it down before it gets too far gone. It right in front of a window I need to get at. The problem is that is it an evergreen with needles. When the needles are green, they are smooth and soft. When they get dry and brown, each tiny needle is just that–a needle. Those babies are so sharp and so persistent they make me just about cry. Getting one of those in a shoe is painful I tell you.
I started in on this bush but I had to be careful. I was wearing shorts and Crocs, of all things. This was fine for scraping and sanding, but not so fine for cutting back the needle bush. I did manage to cut enough that I can now maneuver at the window. Of course, the thing looks truly wretched now–a hacked and mangled, jagged, green and brown protrusion. Now I really need to get that thing out of there.
Since it is raining again, I won’t be able to sand first thing tomorrow. Looks like I’ll need to slide into some pants, put on my heavy jacket, don the gloves and goggles, and have at that bush. It’s tough, but I’ll show it the what for. I’ll make sure to wear some better shoes.