I came off the road after dark last night.
As I got out of my pickup, I could hear a frog croaking at the back of the yard.
That's one of the nice things about country life.
Nicer too was that he didn't continue all night and yes I was able to get some sleep with the windows open.
In many parts of the NYC metro area, landscapers have to pay to dump wood chips.
Therefore, in those areas, if they happen to find a homeowner that's looking for chips to use as mulch, they are only to happy to oblige, and for free.
A friend of mine was one of those homeowners.
The other day, she received about seven cubic yards, in a great big pile, in the middle of her driveway.
"How do we move them to where they need to be?"
"Dave, can you come over, and please bring your garden cart?"
The cart holds about 6 1/2 cubic feet
That works out to about 29 cart loads.
Somehow one of us got the, "Load the cart and pull it [uphill] detail," and the other got to use the rake to spread them around.
We were sort of busy.
The first mowing is basically done - but it was on and off effort over three days to get there.
The bank that owned the place ahead of me had hired a guy to come in every other week last year on a riding mower, but he didn't do the edges and of course it was never raked.
I deliberately did not put a new blade on for the first mowing and I certainly DID find most of the sticks and stones.
It was so bad that for the final third I had to just discharge it from the side instead of bagging it.
If it doesn't rain tomorrow I'll be out there with a rake - but at least now I can see what I'm dealing with.
There's still an area in the back that I have to deal with, but it hasn't been cut in several years and is now under fallen branches from a tree.
I'll have to tackle it with a bow saw before I'll be able to get a mower underneath.
... and than of course there's also the matter of the wild roses and raspberry bushes.
It was filled with fresh spring green after our rather difficult winter.
There were yellow and blue wildflowers interspersed.
It brought me back to many long forgotten thoughts on the season...
Unfortunately, one of them was that I guess it's time to get out the mower and turn the back yard into a lawn again.
And I'll have to do something about the dandelions and the violets in the midst.
Along with the rest of the country, I've spent most of the last three months wishing for warmer weather.
It has finally arrived - 70s every day for the next seven and even one that will see 80.
Unfortunately the bugs, ants, and mosquitos have also arrived.
It's time for me to dial back on the feeders and let all those birds start to earn their keep.
I just looked out my kitchen window.
There's blue sky and sunshine to the left over the ridge.
To the right, it's fairly gray.
On my deck there are little white things about the size of a pea.
I looked twice and realized that it was sleet or hail.
I'm going back to bed.
Wake me when it's 80F
As I often do, I went outside to refill the bird feeders on the deck just before going to bed.
We had a misting rain earlier in the evening.
I didn't fall, but the deck was extremely slippery.
When I came back inside I checked, and yes, it's 28F at the moment.
thought had hoped, that we were done with freezing.
At least I hadn't put any plants outside yet.
... and now I will go to bed.