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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Definitely not the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

With a bra resembling a crow's nest, full of twigs and scratchy leaves of  a black oak tree, and a shoe containing millet and other assorted bird seeds, by lunch time today, I  was ready for a shower. 
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.

15 comments:

  1. The only way to get something done right is do it yourself! That's my motto anyway. Good for you. I'm sure the birds and flowers and maple appreciate your efforts.

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    1. Grey Horse, I'm happy to get stuff done. I need 36 hour days to do it all:)

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    1. e, satisfying to sit on the patio and see a bit of sky above the maple.

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  3. I have a tree in my yard that needs a good trim but I am afraid that the arborist will just say it needs to be cut down so I am leaving it. The birds seem to enjoy it and I enjoy them.

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    1. Birdie, the arborist should give an opinion and then take direction from you.

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  4. I'm glad the trees were finally tended to by someone with a gentler hand.
    While I've yet to saw through my extension cord when out trimming the bushes, my last sewing project found me slicing through my headphones cable with my razor sharp sewing scissors.

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    1. Marty, that sounds like one of those moments when you see the thing you are about to do yet can't get to your own brain fast enough to halt the disaster. It's like backwards deja vue.

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  5. The whole ladder and hedge trimmer combo sounds hair-raising !
    You should charge the landlord for the trim .

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    1. S&S, I talk myself through such moments. If it's unlikely to kill me, I'm up for having a go. I was only six or seven feet off the ground.

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  6. Good for you, brave and noble lady of the ladder. I hate ladders, even the short ones. I keep looking at my trees knowing sooner or later they too will need some trims. However, two doors down is a landscaping firm and they are truly generous with their pricing for neighbors. Guy was out earlier this week to clean up two of my brush piles and did much more than I expected for the estimate/bill we agreed on. I am thinking my better route will be to hire them to do some more of my work. That way ladders, hedge trimmers and cable wires will more than likely be safe here.

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    1. Jean, you are wise and well connected.

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  8. I can't believe you were able to cut through a black oak! That wood is so tough! You must have incredible upper body strength! We had the same thing happen to our crab apple tree that happened to your maple. It was so shocked that it didn't bloom for two years and then started sprouting out these witchy weird branches. But, we have grown to love our hideous looking little front yard tree and it blooms prettily every year now.

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  9. Maria, I am not superwoman, just persistent. Bonus is that my humming birds are back now that their feeder is unencumbered. I love the little hummers that come sip and complain, sip and complain because they see my cat lying around.

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