August 13th, 2006


(no subject)

Day 2 of this weekend's War for the Yard progressed. Today, we went in for...well, I suppose you'd call it "weeding" but...more like macro-weeding. Mega-weeding. Ultimate Weed Smackdown 2000. Something. It required a saw.

We took out an assload of volunteer saplings, which opened up a vast tract of yard and revealed that, hey, lookit that, somebody tried to have a bed back there! A stunted dogwood fought for scraps of sunlight behind the invaders, periwinkle skittered over the ground under the wild grape, and a few valiant lirope struggled in the background (The previous owner loved her lirope. I was not so fond of it, but after a few months here, I have to admit, it lives forever, the flowers are pretty, it sucks up drought and heat and grief, and the foliage is dark and attractive all the time. There are worse traits in a plant.)

Our newly open space actually gets a good chunk of sun. I may get to have real flowers back here! As it is, I'll hit the nursery and see if anything sturdy wants to live back there. God, I could even plant a tree! A good tree! I've never had a spot for a whole tree before! I may not actually use it--only if I can find one that's sufficiently dwarf that the little dogwood down the way, who will probably explode now that it's getting sun, won't suffer any longer--but it's nice to have the option. At the very least, I'm gettin' some good shrubs.

Once the tree-weeds were out--and god, getting that damn silktree out was like a benediction, angels practically descended and sang "Tiiiimmmm...ber..." when it fell--I went to work ripping out English ivy and wisteria. They were so intertwined with an ancient, Lovecraftian wild grape, the periwinkle, and Virginia creeper, that I wound up ripping them all out in mats. It pains me a bit to remove the wild grape--it is, after all, native, and beloved of wildlife--but there's so much of it that I suspect I didn't make any kind of dent. It's welcome to large chunks of the yard--better it than wisteria or ivy!--but anything I've carved out with saw and pruning shears is mine, damnit.

And I promise to put something either native, or desperately well-behaved, pretty, and useful to wildlife in its place.


Tales of the Pathetic

I am such a wuss.

I wielded the pruning shears with reckless abandon today.

Really reckless abandon.

Somewhat too reckless, apparently.

This evening, when I attempted to use the can opener, I was suddenly in dire pain. The little tendons in the hand that grip Mr. Pinchy-thing* are the same tendons that grip Mr. Can Opener, and they informed that they were done for the day.

Defeated utterly by a can of beans--I had brains, but it had brawn, cumin, and chili spices--I abandoned my attempt to help with dinner and slunk back to my computer. I suspect that James thinks less of me. I threatened to open a can of whoopass at some point in the future when I could grip the can opener without whimpering.

*Hey! James calls it that too. I'm not weird.

(no subject)


I was sitting on the couch, minding my own business, when James burst in.

"Hon! Hon! We have--on the feeder--thing--sugar glider!"

"That's a neat trick," I said, getting up, "since sugar gliders are Australian. What we have are--holy crap, you mean there's a flying squirrel on the feeder!?"

And so there was. Happily munching suet, darting back and forth with astonishing speed, the Southern flying squirrel. I have always wanted to see one, but didn't think it was too likely--they're exclusively nocturnal, and while they're supposed to be pretty tolerant of people coming up to the feeder, and not uncommon, it's just plain tough to see a small bark-colored critter in the dark. But there he was!

His camo was really amazing--we could only see him side on, when the white belly patches were visible, and when he made a bump on the side of the tree. Face on, looking at his back, he might as well have been bark. He moved very very quickly--suet, away, suet, away, suet, munch munch, away, yay, suet! He was painfully cute, even in the dim light.

"I'm putting this on my lifelist," said James smugly. "One flying rodent down!" (Well, I suppose some people specialize...)

I feel privileged.

And now, goddamn it, I can never buy hot pepper suet again...