Tag Archives: trees

Paradise Tossed…

As mentioned previously, I took Tuesday off from the bookstore to get my seedlings into the ground in the garden.  I wish I hadn’t been home that day!

The weather was glorious…sunny and warm…quite a change from the cloudy, wet days which had dominated most of April and May!  I put on a tank top and a pair of shorts, pulled my hair back in a ponytail and slapped a baseball cap on my head, slathered all exposed skin with sunscreen (I thought…more about that later!), and off I went!

I had been outside for a couple of hours (worked through lunchtime) when I heard heavy equipment in our driveway.  I knew the men must be coming to continue working on our septic bed.  The guy Jim had talked to about it a month ago had warned us that we would probably be losing our lilac bush, and that they would have to come into our back yard to do the work…we had come home to see a small hole at the edge of our yard Monday night, with a backhoe parked beside it on the other side of the fence.

I was putting my little peat pots of seedlings into the ground when the backhoe started tearing up the lilac bush…I watched with tears streaming down my face as most of the lilac bush (he left one small piece right next to the deck), and all of the alders behind it were destroyed in front of my eyes…bird habitat, shade and privacy all gone in a few short minutes!  The scoop of the machine caught in the wire fence, and broke it…the driver barely paused from his horrible work…

Later, the backhoe operator climbed down from his perch to view the destruction he had wrought.  He was a young, well-muscled man wearing sunglasses, a ball cap, a black tank top, and jeans.  He strolled into the yard and waved to me as I stood, staring, in the garden.  I felt like I should talk to him.

Slowly, I walked over.  I was so angry, I didn’t care that I wasn’t wearing makeup or hadn’t shaved my legs in recent memory, or that my face was sweaty and tear-streaked, or that dirt from the garden was stuck to my sunscreened ankles!  “You’re going to have to fix that fence!  It belongs to me!” I said, realizing that I was still crying.

The guy looked at me and probably wondered what he’d gotten himself into. “Um, yeah…I caught it by accident.”

“I don’t care what you do, even if you have to twist it back together with pliers…just make sure that it’s closed before you leave.  If the deer get into my garden, it’s not going to be pretty!”

He assured me that he would.

“I’m sorry…I know you’re just doing your job,” I said, wiping the tears angrily from my cheeks.  “But, do you see all those bird feeders?” I asked, pointing to the eight bird feeders on our deck (Jim hadn’t put out the three hummingbird feeders yet this year).  “That lilac bush was where our birds sat!  Please tell me that the apple tree is going to stay!”

“Oh yeah…I’m going to just do a track wide enough to drive through,” he assured me.

“Thank you,” I said.  “Well, I guess I should get back to my garden.  I’ve got a bunch more plants to get in.”

I finished up in the garden just after 4:00.  I was using the hose to rinse off my metal trays when the backhoe operator came up behind me…

“Excuse me…could we get you to unlock the basement door so we can see where the pipe comes into the house?” he asked.

“Okay…just let me finish up here, and I’ll run down and do that.”

I let them into the basement and warned them not to hit their heads on the low beam…I laughed as I told them how many times I’d “brained” myself on it.  They located the pipe and I closed and locked the basement door after them.

Later that night, I was getting ready for bed when I absentmindedly scratched my lower back…ouch!  Looking in the mirror, I realized that I’d been squatting in the garden for nearly six hours, and that the back of my tank top must have been riding up…I had a lovely red stripe of sunburn above the waist of my shorts.  Jim put some aloe vera on it for me.

*****

We were driving home from work on Wednesday when I mused, “I wonder what death and destruction waits for us at home!”  I was joking.

Arriving at the house, I ran to the back door to see what the workmen had been up to…the first thing I noticed was that the apple tree was GONE!  That little @#$%er had lied to me!  The fence was now open on two sides, allowing the deer full access to our back yard.  The backhoe had obviously been digging all day, and sat in the middle of the hole, surrounded by dirt.

View from the corner of our yard on Wednesday...there were solid trees and bushes between the house and the backhoe before...photo by Anna

What the yard looked like when we moved there in the fall of 2008 (we later planted our garden between the fence and the row of trees)...Hope is beside the fence...photo by Jim

*****

The guys were back yesterday and spent the day bringing in truckloads of dirt and dumping them in our yard.  I was home from the store again because I had a migraine…I successfully resisted the urge to throttle a certain young backhoe operator, and stayed in the house all day.  Jake barked his head off.

View from my deck this morning...there used to be an apple tree where all that dirt is...you can see the few pieces of the lilac tree at the right...

It’s a good thing for him that my landlord is out of town right now…otherwise, he’d be getting an earfull from me…I am not a happy camper!

To be continued…

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Filed under family, gardening, nature, rants

More Scenes from Outside…

Here are the promised photos of Jim and Anna’s “Avian Ritz-Carlton” – it will house up to 2 dozen birds (photos by Anna):

The front...

One Side...

The back...

The other side...

Anna took some other photos around the yard as well:

These are blossoms on our horse chestnut tree...

These are wildflowers that grow near our peony bushes...

This is the first wild rose of the season...

Enjoy the weekend…

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Introducing Anna…Guest Photographer…

I’ve been really busy the last few days…I apologize for the silence…I hope to be back to normal within the next little while!

In the meantime, here are some photos my 15-year-old daughter took:

Yummy...

Bird Silhouette...

Blossoming Trees...

Blue Jay on the Barbie...

2010 NB Provincial Junior Cheerleading Champions...Harry Miller Middle School Bears...

Love at the Feeder...

Fat and Happy...

Hope in her new dress...

Spectacular Rainbow...

Mr. Innocent...

"I'm not doing anything..."

"Let me off this merry-go-round!"

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Spring in Hammond River…

I took these photos around my yard this past weekend…apologies to any professional photographers…I am strictly amateur, and I was having issues with overexposure…

First Tulip...

This is the first tulip of six that I have in my little flowerbed by the front step.  It is in the shade, so they are slow to open…the deer seem to leave them alone due to their proximity to the house.

Hens and Chicks...

These are the hens and chicks (or sedum, as they are known more scientifically).  They are in the same flowerbed with the tulips.  I like the symmetry of the leaves…

Flowering Crab...

These are the first leaves starting on our flowering crab…it is a brilliant shade of red for about a week when in full bloom.  The deer enjoy grazing on the hill behind it.

Moss on Flowering Crab...

I found this moss growing on the flowering crab to be quite pretty…white is an unusual colour for moss too!

Yellow Bush...

This bush covered in brilliant yellow flowers is at least ten feet in diameter, and sits behind our garage.  I don’t know what kind of bush it is.

View Through Raspberries...

This is the view of the lower part of our back yard, the river, and the hills in the background as seen through the raspberry canes in our side yard.  This view is one of the reasons we love where we live!

Rhubarb...

It won’t be long before we’ll be harvesting rhubarb…we have about a dozen large plants next to our fence, and several more on the other side of the house!

Peonies...

More Peonies...

These are some of our dozen or so peony bushes we have around the yard (front and back).  When they get bigger, we usually put tomato cages over them to help support them.  It seems to fend off the deer from eating them too.

Perennials...

These are some plants that grow near the peonies…don’t know what they’re called, but I like the shape of the leaves.

Plant in a Tree...

When he was alive, this tree was our resident porcupine’s favourite place to hang out.  He would sit high up in its branches for days, munching bark, even during a blizzard (https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/creature-discomforts/).  I found this little plant growing in the crotch of the tree.

Crooked Pine Tree...

This pine tree grows in our back yard, and was another favourite perch for Mr. Prickles.

Baby Pine Cones...

Those brown fluffy things will eventually become pine cones…

Last Year's Spinach...

Dad planted this spinach in the garden last year, and it survived the winter.  When our landlord came to plow up the garden last week, he steered carefully around it!

I planted some peas and beans in the garden on the weekend too…will take more pictures once they’re up!

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