The temperature was in the mid 60's (F), a perfect time to get outside and do little yard work. I didn't rake up any of the leaves last fall. For those of you who are regular readers, you know I had more important things occupying my mind at the time. You've seen the trees that tower all around this place. Keeping up with falling leaves is a major chore, that involves raking the entire yard every week for a month or more, until the last tree has finally sheds it's last leaf. Last fall, with my sister passing, I just couldn't be bothered with it all. So...I just let them fall to the ground, where they had lain all winter. I was hoping that mother nature would take her course, and that by spring they would be less of a problem to deal with.
Today it was finally time to do something with them. The crab grass that never ceases growing over the septic tank drain field lines, was sprouting foot high shoots above the leaves. So down to the shed I went, and broke out the trusty Honda, high back wheel push mower. I put a mulching blade on it last summer, so today I left the chute off, and the trap door closed on the discharge, to trap everything inside the mower housing, where the mulching blade could chop it all up.
Ha! I'll never rake again! The yard was covered in full size oak, poplar, maple, gum tree, and a multitude of other specie's leaves from last fall, and in just two passes with the mower they were all reduced to a fine mulch! A couple more years of natural bio-degradation, and they will add their molecules to the top soil.
It took about two hours of pushing that mower up and down the inclines of my back yard. In some places the leaves were so thick, that the motor stalled and I had to restart it. By the time I put the mower back in the shed, I was fairly well knackered, and soaking wet with sweat, but the yard sure looked good, and there were no more foot tall shoots of crab grass, for some stealthy little blood sucking tick to lie in ambush on, waiting to transfer himself to my unsuspecting leg.
Ticks! I hate them! They are the scourge of the wilderness. I've had two acquaintances hospitalized with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever after being bitten by ticks, and I have two permanent purple marks on my thighs, where Lone Star ticks latched on to me while doing yard work, and I didn't discover them until it was too late to easily remove them. I worried about Lyme's disease, but although there was inflammation around the immediate site of the bites for a while, there was no bulls eye rash. They are tenacious little buggers, and when you try to pull them off they refuse to let go, so their nasty little mouth parts detach and stay under your skin, where they fester.
Now days, I saturate my shoes and socks with Deep Woods Off insect repellent, before I ever step out into the yard to do any work, and once I'm done, off come the clothes, and a full body inspection ensues. I haven't found an attached tick in fifteen years (knock on wood!)
Tonight I was watching Glee. What a great uplifting show that is! And the talent isn't bad either. If you ever think that a feminine voice is impossible for someone born male, you have to hear Chris Colfer who plays the gay character, Kurt Hummel on the show. He has a lovely voice, and sings like an absolute angel! If you close your eyes, you have no idea that a male is singing.
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