Sunday, April 24, 2022
There's an ancient apple tree overhanging the sloping roof of the garden shed. It's like a hen that's too old to lay eggs. I was planning to climb onto the roof of the shed with the chainsaw and take it down, one piece at a time, before a storm takes it down for me. Today it's the first really warm day of spring and I'm out doing heavy work, so I figured, why not have a go at doing it from ground level? In my mind, it was of smaller diameter than it is in real life. I nearly changed my mind when I saw how thick it was and how many knots the trunk has. Knots are really tough to saw through. I sharpened the large chainsaw, oiled it up and started cutting.
Friday, April 22, 2022
We are not alone. I'm here to report that squatters have taken up residence in the carport. Yesterday one of my neighbours dropped by. We were standing at the doorway chatting when I saw something black whooshing through the carport, doing a U turn and then making a speedy exit. My neighbour turned just in time to see it. "It might be a barn swallow", she said. Sure enough, on closer inspection, there was a newly built nest in tuhe rafters of the carport, on top of one of the long fluorescent light fixtures.
Saturday, April 16, 2022
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
These early spring days can be unpredictable: cool, cold, freezing, rainy, snowy, a hailstorm, high winds, and occasionally, warm. We're not even half way through April, but we've already had four days warm enough for me to be outside in a T shirt. These are bonus days, and I'm making the most of them. I feel as though I'd been shot out of a cannon, and that's just as well, because there's lots of outside work to do. On Day One of the warm days, I got out the weedwhacker and cut back all the overgrown greenery around Pond One. On Day Two, I took the Good Ship Louise out of drydock (in the drive shed) and pulled her down to the edge of Pond Two with the tractor. I raked up all the leaves that had amassed in the carport over the winter, collected and split enough kindling to last me till the cows come home, and then I went out rowing on Group of Seven Pond. It was pretty excellent, but I've got a lot of upper arm strength to rebuild. On Day Three of the warm days, I went out on Pond Two, and dredged out all the logs than had broken off and fallen in during the winter. This is heavy work, but once the branches are dragged onto the shore to dry out, it looks like a lot has been accomplished. Today was Day Four. It was a beautiful, warm day and I decided that since next week is going to be rainy, I'd better get started clearing the south fence line. I've been working at this project sporadically since I got here three years ago, but it's astonishing how much grows back over one season. There's an old cedar split rail fence running for several hundred feet. It separates my property from Cathy's property (she's my neighbour to the south and has become a good and trusted friend). A fence between us is a bit of a joke, honestly, because we never think twice about being on each other's property. We share tools and keep an eye out for each other. If she's in town and I need tofu or bok choy, she's on it, stat. If she needs me to run a security check on her property, same deal. But, you know, there's the old fence and I really like to look at it, all moss-covered and weatherbeaten. So I started clearing the fence line of all the tenacious tangled vines but are actually an invasive species, called grape-something. I think I cleared about 200 feet today. Here's the first section: