Friday, April 9, 2010
Mowing and major pruning
MARK’S ARTICLE – April 9, 2010
“Snake sticks to weedflowers”
ROOFTOP – Whoa, watch your step. This metal roof is still dew-wet. Don’t make today the day you slip and bust your buns. Put that off for awhile.
About settled down, are you? Good. Is this not the nicest of roofsitting mornings? Little bit of a breeze, clouds easing on by, cool not cold, oak tassels drifting like a light snow.
And, cats. Look at ‘em. There are two over by the birdbath. Probably a couple more in the front yard. For a guy who owns no pets, I sure have a lot of cats using and abusing my yard. If they didn’t keep down the mole and creapy critter population, I’d be throwin’ rocks at ‘em. They still suspect I might, ‘cause they run when I approach.
I’m pretty sure the cats also keep the snake population down. I haven’t seen a snake in the yard in a good bit. Never saw one up here on the roof. The day that happens is the day I jump. Forget the ladder.
When I was with the Texas Forest Service I was walking in the woods one morning after a heavy rain. I was getting ready to brush a tree limb aside, when I saw a copperhead strung across the limb. Messed up my whole day. Hard to confidently walk in the woods when snakes are at eye level. Impossible for me. If I got snake-bit on my leg, that’d be just terrible. If one latched onto my nose, I’d scream like a girl… up until the time my air passage closed off.
Like I say, I haven’t seen many in the yard. Oh, I’ve seen several snakesticks. There are a lot of those down there. I saw a snakestick in the driveway a couple of days ago and had to stand and stare for several seconds. A most convincing stick. Don’t know why God allowed such a thing. I’m sure snakes do something to balance nature, but a snakestick serves no purpose other than to tease. – “Ha, ha. Made you look.” That’s what they’re thinking.
What I’m thinking is that we need to get off the snake topic. Don’t know why you brought it up in the first place.
Let’s talk about that pile of wood down there at the base of the giant oak. A couple of weeks ago, I had just relaxed in the recliner with a can of cashews when a guy knocked on the door. Whatta bother. How many people knock on your door expecting nothing of you? Never have I answered a door and had someone hand me $20 or a bag of brownies.
This guy looked rough as all get out. A real working man. Asked if I had any trees I wanted removed. He didn’t get the word “removed” outta his mouth before I said “No, thank you.” I was gonna add that I don’t let any doorknocker touch my trees. Never have. It’s actually never come up.
The guy smiled big and turned to leave. Something in the smile made me rethink. “Uh, how about removing a couple of big limbs?” He assured me he could do that.
Long story less so, that guy grabbed a couple of ropes and a chainsaw and climbed that huge oak. Looked like he was on Circus Sole or Cirque du Soileil. (That’s for my three French readers… or two Italians. Whichever.)
The cutter was tied off seven ways to Sunday, but it was still scary as all get out watching him swing around up there. One limb looked like it would slam right into the roof, right where a couple of you are sitting. But, he had a special knot tied that allowed it to swing and then ease to the ground. That guy had to be both an engineer and an artist.
He ended up sawing the limbs into smaller pieces, and stacking ‘em at the base of the tree. Nalin, my nephew, said he’d pick ‘em up someday. Might make a table or chair out of some of the pieces. I don’t think the kid is thinking right. Doesn’t matter. I doubt he picks the stuff up. Nephews. I love ‘em a lot, but I think they’d tell me anything just to get me to change the subject.
Hey, you haven’t even said anything about the lawn. See? I mowed all the weeds. Actually, Kay did a lot of the mowing, while I worked on the weed-eater. Are you aware that weed-eaters hibernate? They sleep hard, too. Don’t like to be startled awake. Shutdown is what they do.
Kay tired of mowing about the time I got the weed-eater working. She did a pretty bad job, too. Kay tries to mow around all the wildflowers. Don’t know if you’re aware, but most weeds come with a flower. They’re still weeds, though.
You can’t just leave clumps of weeds in your yard. It’ll look scalped. The neighbors will stop and point. Before long a mowing guy will be knocking on the door just as I’m sitting down with a can of cashews. “Hey, how ‘bout letting me mow your scalped yard?” I just hate it when people come a knocking. Be okay if they gave me something. Like that’s ever happened.
(I wanted to take a second here to thank my Pasadena friend, Cora Beth, for continually reading and commenting on my bouts of silliness. I'm a better writer for knowing that you are a big part of my audience. -- Didn't say I was a good writer. Just better. -- You're a peach, lady.
Oh, and Jill, if you didn't read it'd break my heart. What would I do with out my sweeter than sweet Sis? Don't ever wanna know.)