Thursday, October 20, 2016

Scorched Earth

After enjoying the summer long view of lovely roses and other bits of flowering florae, and the local fauna which enjoy munching on said florae, there comes that time of year when The Missus Herself commences a little something I like to call "Operation Scorched Earth."

In which she goes through the town, leaving a swath of destruction in her wake. A barren landscape in which a scorpion would have trouble finding sustenance and...

No, not really.

When my better half began "Operation Fill the Yard with Flowering Things" (which sounds way more militaristic in German, to wit Operation Füllen Sie den Hof mit blühenden Dingen) I didn't give much thought to what would happen to all of those plants when winter fell upon the land.

Our first autumn in Little Rhody wasn't too bad, the gardens were still somewhat small and modest. It wasn't until the second autumn that we really had a fun time clipping, trimming, and bagging all of the plant life which had graced the yard in the summer.

Well, this year I'm "excused duty." (Yup, I'm still milking that post-surgical thing, truth be told, Doc said to take it easy until the end of November when I see him again. And no one has ever had to tell me to take it easy twice. Frankly, the surgical site still hurts a bit. At my age one does not heal very quickly.)


I came home last night to see a rather large collection of these out by the street...

There have been years when The Missus Herself has filled upwards of thirty of those bags with yard detritus. Believe you me, it's no fun hauling all those bags down to the curb as they get filled. While sometimes they're not that heavy, there are years when I think my lovely wife has put a yard of dirt in each bag. While she doesn't really do that, there can be quite a bit of soil left clinging to the roots of all the plants she's yanked out of the ground.

Being hors de combat this year does make me feel a little guilty.

A little.

Perhaps I should emulate the granddaughters...

Ya know, hit the highway! (Little Bit seems really into driving, whereas L'il Sweetie looks rather like a bored commuter on the way to work. The WSO tells me though that the youngest member of our tribe was really into having her sister drive her around. And around, and around, and around...)

While we still have some flowers left, the time when the ground is barren again isn't too far off. Not to worry though, all that white stuff will cover it up. (Wait! What am I saying?)


  1. Yeah, I'm right in the middle of doing the same thing. The lovely missus can't help since she had her hip replaced recently. At least I don't need to bag everything. It's nice having a compost pile. Kinda. Sorta. Except when it needs to be turned. That stuff gets really heavy since it's in a shady area and pretty much never dries out. I do like the smell of it though. Nice and earthy. I use the partially composted stuff as mulch. The medium brown color looks nice on the flower beds and the totally composted stuff gets spaded into the beds and vegetable garden. Mr. Organic, I am. I'm saving the planet. I've become a tree hugging, green weenie. No, not really. Just getting more frugal in my dotage. Now I don't have to buy mulch or fertilizer.....................

    1. Ah, the beauties of a compost heap! We really have no place to put one but man, I would love to save money on mulch.

      The Missus Herself buys around nine yards of that stuff every year.

  2. I was spoiled having Dorothy, my John Deere utility tractor. We had a dozen trees in my folk's yard, ( I wound up returning to the Manse after my Dad had a stroke in '92, so as to help Mom with his 24 hour care ). I went from yard bagging 48 raked bags, to 12, after buying a yard vac, that shredded. But after getting Dorothy, with her 60" Tri-Cycler deck, I would let the leaves dry, and then start mowing at the outer edge of the lawn, mowing inward, with the deck discharging to the center. The Tri-Cycler mulching deck would spew powder out the discharge nozzle. I had gone from 48, to 12 to zero, and had a blast doing it!

    As for dealing with mulch, an end loader makes that a much simpler task! I is also a fine way to deal with snow.

    1. Having the right tools for the job is always a plus!

  3. Oh man, that's a great picture of the lil ones out for a spin. Produced a BIG smile it did!

    As for the garden detritus, I can picture this festungskompost in your yard.

    You ought to be able to indenture a Kompost-Lehrling to do the heavy lifting. He could live in a shed and keep the herons at bay.


    1. Very nice. Can I get it with claymore mines, guard towers, and watch dogs? Oh yeah, searchlights, I need searchlights.

      I like the idea of having an apprentice.

  4. Very funny, your post, it is.

    Paul L. Quandt

  5. Leaves are just starting to fall here, gonna be a battle for the next few months... LOL

    1. Leaves? They have trees in Texas?

      (I know I'll catch Hell from Juvat, but I couldn't resist!)

    2. Cute pic of the younguns! May they keep that joyful feeling (well, one of them is joyful) as long as possible.
      We have some plants on the property. We have several shrubs, and a couple hundred trees; I haven't gridded the holler and done an accurate count, but it's a good estimate, or at least WAG.
      They grow, they thrive, they grow dormant for winter. I trim some shrubs. We pick up the limbs that fall from the trees if they'll interfere with mowing, or if they'll make good fuel in the smoker. Other than that, it's a live-and-let-the-hell-alone kind of relationship, & I'm enormously glad of it.
      I do want to drop the couple of very aged plum (plum-smoked ribs?) trees & put in a couple of blueberries, but that's as involved as I aim to get.
      --Tennessee Budd

    3. Sounds like you have a pretty nice place!

    4. Ah, jeez! That comment is wrong on so many levels. But... a post....

    5. I was wondering when you might chime in.



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