Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Author Takes on Taming the Wilds

Well, it's been quite a Spring. I have my outdoor project continuing from last year. It's coming along, for sure. I've seen progress from the year before. You see, there's a section of our yard that has been let go wild with trees and undergrowth, it separates our yard from the park nicely in that once the underbrush grows in leaves, you can't see the park, and what matters is the park-goers can't see us.

A few years ago, my husband mowed into this section, just around one tree, and I made a trail into the wilds of this woods. To give you an idea it might be 30-40 yards deep. It goes along the edge, making an L shape along the border of the yard. And the yard is at least an acre upon which the house sits. The whole of the property is at least 5 acres, depending upon where you stop counting.

Anyway, back to my project of taming my backyard wilderness... This was very wild with raspberry brambles, dead limbs and such. It took me the summer of last year to make a meandering trail through to the end of it, where our service drive is. I hauled a lot of wood chips from an old pile, one wheel barrel at a time. In the heat and humidity. And sometimes after a 6-hour stint on the bus.

This Spring, with the weather cooperating more than last (had constant rain), I have been out nearly every day after work, and on the weekends. I've extended my trail to meander more, and have it bending back to the main trail that comes out by 30 foot pines. Once I get this thing done, it's going to be grand. If it doesn't kill me in the process.

You see, I'm an outdoors person. I can't not be outside when the weather breaks and is nice out. I've contented myself in going for walks in the park. Which is fine, but this woods had been something of a curiosity. I wanted to see its mysteries for myself. This spring I've discovered the spring beauties (a blue blossoming bulb that I planted a very long time ago) coming up near an old tree. And white trout lily, just behind that. Erythronium albidum.jpg
and the the dog's tooth.
Then, just this weekend, I discovered lily-of-the-valley growing all on its own in the middle, beneath the many walnut trees. I never knew those could just pop up anywhere. I have them by the house. Another thing I'd brought with me when we first moved here 21 years ago. I'd never seen it, probably because by the time I was able to work in there last year, the blossoms had faded. But if you've never smelled them, they are the sweetest smelling flowers, similar, but better than plumb trees in blossom.

And of course there are violets. I covet the white one's but love those from which they are named.

I found clumps of these growing nearby and dug several up and transplanted them last week. They're doing well, as I'm keeping them watered.

My husband, as you may already know, works out in the park proper. He mows, and he's into that now, so he hasn't time or energy to help me on this very physical project. This has been my project, and he doesn't mind my doing this, he just doesn't want me to over do it. I have not been able to work more than a few hours outside at a time, until this weekend. When I was young, I went full-bore all day long. I put in an 8 hour day working in my garden, and the yard, moving big, heavy rocks, and keeping it all in neat order. My father would have to tell me to quit around 3:00. I have not had that sort of day since I was in my twenties or thirties. But this weekend came close when my husband came out and had to tell me it was 2:30. I'd been working out in my garden, hauling brush one way, and wood chips another, and spreading it out on the trail. I trimmed a lot, that day too. So, I'd have to say I had been going at it for four straight hours that afternoon. So, taking a few days off from maiming myself (you should see my scratches on my legs and arms), and resting my sore back/body, is a good thing, with the weather going from warm to very cool. Plus, I've got a full day tomorrow on the bus (7 hours).

I've got something like 2 and a half weeks before I'm free to do as I please and one of them will be gardening. The other thing will be not getting up at 4 AM!

Oh, in case you haven't had a chance to read my author's bio over at Creativia, here is the link for that. It's called "A Fresh take on Vampire fiction"

Have a good rest of your week!

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