The Black Oak is an untidy evergreen, overhanging our front patio and part of our driveway. It's shade is welcome but it has dangling branchlets that scratch the top of taller vehicles on one side and had spread over the top of a Japanese Maple on the other.
When we first moved in, just over a year ago, the landlord had instructed someone to trim these trees. It being easier to decimate a lithe and supple young Maple than a rugged, rough-barked oak, the poor little maple was chopped and slashed to within an inch of its life. It's been fighting its way back; stretching out one limb after another, in graceful arabesque, cloaked in innumerable multifingered leaves that tremble with every breath of air.
Promises were made that the oak would be tidied and the maple freed to grow into a flame colored glory in the autumn. Today was the day that the tall step ladder behind the garage and my trusty hedge trimmer connected in my brain and, as the day was not as furnace hot as previous weekends have been, I decided to Lone Ranger it and get the job done.
Mind you, I have been limping and gimping on my advanced osteo-arthritis knee, pending a visit with the ortho surgeon and the last time I "trimmed" the morning glory I slashed through our cable TV line (Amazingly, they come out and fix that for free!) so the outcome was uncertain.
The big step-ladder is much more stable than any I've used before. I was careful to climb slowly and very vigilant against any shifting, leaning or sinking into the dirt and I thought through my moves as I reached out and up with one-handed swipes of the electric trimmer blade to get every last offending twig.
There are large piles of oak cuttings waiting for the lazy gardener to deal with. Gardening is like eating an artichoke, there's more stuff lying around afterwards than when you started, or that's how it is when I do it. Now my maple has some space to flutter and wriggle in the breeze and the flower beds beneath have been returned to a state of filtered sunlight rather than dark shadow.
I filled the bird feeder, which I hadn't had time to do for a while and the busy chirpers came back in a flash. We enjoy lunch on the patio with the animation of birds coming and going and even from inside the house, we can still hear their conversations.