Working in the garden -- 05/08/04

It's a beautiful day -- bright sunshine, blue sky, a few wispy white clouds, somewhere in the upper fifties (around 14°C). A perfect spring afternoon.

A jingling of bells just now. I looked out the window and saw an ice cream truck slowly passing by. I didn't see any kids running to get ice cream. It's still a bit early in the season... wait a few weeks until the hot weather arrives and his truck will be surrounded by kids eager for a tasty ice cream treat.

I've just put in two or three hours of work in the backyard. I was past due in putting in the next planting in the garden. I'd planted some seeds three weeks ago -- peas, beans, radishes, various varieties of lettuce -- and I really should have done the my next planting a week and a half ago. (As the seed packets note, plant again every ten days to have a continuing crop.) Alas, I was sick when I should have been doing that and then last weekend I was away (Jill and I drove over there Saturday morning and returned late Sunday afternoon) and I was just too busy this week with work, trying to catch up on a backlog of stuff, not to mention still being back to full health.

It is a perfect day for going for a run, but I don't think I'll try that yet. It's not just that I've not really worked out in more than two weeks, but I've still got some chest congestion -- the doctor did tell me that I should expect to take two and a half weeks to really recover from this bug -- and I can just picture breaking into a major coughing fit about two miles down the road. So I'll wait a few more days before running.

Anyway, I did get in a good workout in the yard. After I planted more peas and beans and radishes and lettuce -- plus some zucchini and summer squash and cucumbers -- I cut down two oak trees. Our property is surrounded on three sides by trees, mostly oak. A few weeks ago I cut off branches from several trees, some because they were putting too much shade on the backyard and some because they were getting too close to the house. Today I took down two trees -- not the really large ones, one of them was about five inches in diameter and the other about seven or eight inches -- because they would be putting too much shade on my garden. Then I cut them up into more manageable pieces and also cut about twenty feet of the main part of the larger one into two foot sections. Of course there is now a big pile of branches in the middle of the backyard that I have to cut up more and dispose of, but I'm tired. I did this using a hand saw and my right arm is telling me that it has had quite enough of a workout for today. (In fact, when I first sat down at the computer, my arm wasn't even happy about using the mouse.)

There is a very large oak that I want to remove -- but I am hesitant about doing it myself because I want avoid injury to both myself and to the house. Maybe next year I'll have it removed professionally. There are some smaller than that along the side of the house with the chimney that have grown enough over the years that some branches are beginning to get threateningly close to the house and I'm concerned what a major storm could do in a few years. I took some branches off of these a few weeks ago, but looking at them again today I really think I need to take them down completely. Not today. Maybe in a few days. Or maybe not until fall.

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