Me vs The Backyard: Let the Battle Begin!

You could ask me if we’re done with the kitchen.  I won’t answer you though.  I’ll be Irish and ask you a question back – would YOU be inclined to sand drywall and blow dust all over the kitchen and house?  Yeah, us neither.  We’re going to have to bite the bullet one day – I really don’t want to get to the 2 year anniversary on it.

In the meantime, BACKYARD!  Weird winter weather has stopped me from getting outside to do any major weeding before this month.  I’m normally pulling stuff in early February while the ground is still pretty wet, so this is major crunch time to get massive amounts of blackberry brambles pulled up before the clay soil hardens.

When we grudgingly visited the backyard for 2 minutes last year, we laid plastic tarps down to kill whatever grass was left (and discovered we lost several feet of land to creek erosion.  But, I digress.) Naturally, plastic is no match for a blackberry bramble – those puppies went under, over and occasionally through it.  Interestingly, those vines weren’t all that hard to pull up.  It behaved as a single netted unit – pull one, the whole backyard shimmies.  Since it tries to root every few feet, those roots stayed above ground – so wispy, so fragile, so very, very fun to mock as I tore them to bits.

Why mock?  Why not?  This stuff is ALIVE and not in a cute “roses are living things” kind of way.  More like that thing from Tremors.  Or big rotty looking mushrooms.  Really anything that grows – a lot – when you aren’t looking and then BAM!  Chokes you in your sleep.  So yes, mocked, stomped, killed big dead.

The random points of detail for today…let’s see… Oh!  Goatskin gloves.  I was able to grab all but the thickest vines and nary a thorn went through.  Score for me!

The olive tree is a mess – the acacia growing over the fence from the creek keeps pushing it over, so the branches just won’t fill out properly.  We’re cutting it back nearly to the trunk and hoping for the best.

The deck stairs are well past their half-life.  I tried pulling weeds near one of the cement posts and the whole thing started moving.  Left the weed for now. Sigh.

The hedge trimmer handle is busted.  Blade still works.  It is probably better that I have to be more careful – 4 or 5 years ago I went all light-saber crazy with a hedge trimmer and I light-sabered the electrical cord.  I really am luckier than I have any right to be…

So I’ll leave you with some pics.  Nothing terribly interesting and no shots of the erosion yet – I think this project won’t start to get interesting until we can actually stand in the creek and take pics from there.  Well that, and when we bring the genius that is Mark B over and ply him with food and drink until he helps us reconstruct the creek bank.

A little bit of progress

The sad and listing Olive Tree

Not sure where solid land ends anymore...

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