Sunday, October 26, 2014

Barren ground...

It took me two long weekend episodes but I finally managed to clear the blackberry brambles from a section that I had been eyeing for some time now.  Using the big pruning shears I systematically nipped each bramble at its base and then carefully pulled it out of the weave.  Caution is the key because when each bramble is pulled it often releases another, bent tight, ready to rake across arms and legs (see previous post).

Once cut and pulled each bramble is piled with the others.  They are all oriented with their bases at one end and their tops at the other.  While this seems a small and mundane detail there is method to my madness.  When the pile is raked together and tamped down the brambles interweave into one large bundle.  It then is easily rolled onto a out spread tarp.  I use the tarp as a sleigh to haul the bundle to its final resting place; the wood pile.

The Wood Pile is not a formally stacked row of cord wood but rather the accumulation of years of tree limbs and bramble bundles.  Think of it more like a large item compost heap.  Many's the time I have thought of setting it to the torch.  Each time I reflect on it as a habitat for our friends, specifically the rabbits.  I suspect there might be a warren beneath the tangle of limbs and the like.

So here is the barren ground...


And here is why all the blood, sweat and ... Iris

Bearded Iris Firebreather


Bearded Iris Superstition


Dutch Iris Mix


Pretty pictures and the promise of spring flowers.

It is a bit disconcerting if not counter-intuitive to be planting anything in the Fall.  It always feels like Fall, with its turning leaves and cooler/colder temps, is the slow decline to the frozen barren ground of Winter.  Just saying the words makes the prospect of planting new life in this season a true act of faith.  Nature in its intricate wisdom surpasses the irrational logic of a simple man like me.

Bonus pic...

An October Rose bud... promises of a fall beauty.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blackberry Brambles - A Yardist Bloodsport

The blackberry brambles are pinching and grabbing like petulant children.  They arch across the walking paths.   They demand attention with thorns that don't just point out but are backward facing.  Little surgical hooks that catch and pull.  When the captive victim leans in to release first then the next ones take a hold.

I came in from mowing the yard and I realize I am spotted with bright red blood.


MicroForest - The Fallow Years

Much to the chagrin of my neighbors I stopped mowing the sloping fairway of my front yard.  Originally it was to make the lawn more interesting.  I started by allowing (not cutting) a "snake" to grow over the natural drainage seam that cut diagonally down the hill.  A 125 foot long serpentine shape that coiled back and forth across the seam.  It was meant as much as anything for the children, something the could run around, something to break up the monotony of the empty expanse.  This also meant that I didn't have to bumpity-bumpity mow across it either.

Then two things happened.  The price of gasoline shot up and I got lazy.  I let the two sections on either side of the snake go fallow.  My mowing we reduced to just a wide path up and down the slope around the snake.  I kept the only flat section, down by the road, mowed so the children would have a soccer pitch.

That went well for a season or two and then the neighbors put up one of those industrial paranoia street lights.  The ones sold by utility companies who play upon our fear of the darkness.  When the utility company came to put it up they decided to drive their big bucket truck across our soccer pitch instead of the neighbor's pristine lawn.  They left big gaping ruts where the truck had sunk into our pitch.  The children couldn't play soccer there anymore for fear of turning an ankle.  I was pissed.  So I stopped mowing that section too.

(You have to understand.  While the neighbor was to blame for the paranoia night light - which is a pain, but another issue altogether - they weren't to blame for the ruts.  That was the utility company using a third party contractor to put up the light.  I didn't feel like chasing that rabbit.  Besides my fallow fields right next to their prissy lawn, that was sufficient payback for me.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

a perfect metaphore

The Yard.

Here I will begin to reveal the wonders of universe - in the yard.  Moving meditation becomes the foundation of knowledge - in the yard.  Quiet self realization comes from being a part of a new forest that grows - in the yard.  Random amateur earthscaping, a love affair over the past decade - in the yard.

I am a Yardist of the neo-impressionist period.

Anna Rosalie Boch (10 February 1848 – 25 February 1936)


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