Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Back Away From the Loppers

These past few days have been fabulous. Joe is on "long weekend". The translation from Joe's-workspeak to English means that it is his normally scheduled week off from work. Yeah I know, it sounds really good to have a whole week scheduled off work every 28 days, but you have to factor in the crazy 12 hour swing shift the rest of the time. It's a very small perk for the lifestyle and hours worked.

Anyway, with the promise of an entire week together and good weather predicted, we began the week on Friday afternoon with a pleasant little drive up the road a piece to the meat locker. If you are one of those unfortunate souls that has to buy your meat from a grocery store you have my sympathies. We came home with a bundle of triangles, ovals, cylinders, and circles all perfectly wrapped in crisp white butcher paper. Joe is an absolute master on the grill.

The rest of the afternoon we lazily sat outside. I'm sure Joe was just relaxing, I was scheming. Sunday was going to be the day. I'd let Joe relax the rest of Friday, and even Saturday, but Sunday he'd have to work. baaawhahaha

I had to dig around for a before shot of the mass destruction. I hadn't thought to take one (oops) So this pic is from last Fall, but you can easily see what I didn't want to see THIS year.

That huge blob on the left (3/4 of the pic) is a pussy willow. Yeah I never knew they got that big either. It's 20+ feet high and 30+ feet across. In years past it was a nice tidy, albeit huge, dome, as you can see it is/was now/then an unruly mess.

On the right side of the pic, are a few crab apple trees that have seen much better days along with copious amounts of unwanted growth.... weeds and volunteer trees, maple, mulberry and god only knows what else. In addition to all the crap, both the crab apples and the pussy willow had several limbs that were cracked and hanging from storms.

Sunday and Tuesday, (note the day of rest in between damn were my muscles screaming!) we did this:

The pile in the middle is just one of the piles of debris that we have to get rid of.....sigh Just picture if you can the pussy willow on the left and a couple of crab apple trees on the right nothing in between. The patch of green between the crab apples are day lilies.

I know the pussy willow looks kind of funny, and I realize I prob'ly didn't "prune" the trees correctly nor at the proper time of year, so catkins next year might be sparse, but I don't's a work in progress. There are still some limbs and stumps that have to go, I'm not done yet, but it's getting there. Already today I can see that they (the trees, not to mention the day lilies) appreciate having all that undergrowth and those huge limbs that were 15 feet long with only 15 leaves on the very ends removed. New buds and shoots are popping up all over on what we left. I'll post a pic when they are fully leaved, then decide what will have to go next year. :-)

Hermitage Trivia:
The walkway seen in the photos above originally lead to the outhouse. That's one hell of a walk from the house to the loo especially during the winters we have around here! YIKES!! It was a fancy schamcy two seater, with concrete thrones. :-)


  1. Aren't the pussy willow flexible so one can weave baskets with it? Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do. My grandparents used to have outhouses. Even as a child I appreciated a chamber pot! ;o)

  2. Hmmm I don't know about that Monika...maybe. I do know that the branches from weeping willow trees are often used for baskets. I'm thinking that these might be too brittle for weaving, but it's worth a try! Since we've just had two solid days of rain the branches we cut down have been throughly soaked maybe i ought to go grab some! :-)