A Rose is a Rose is a Hard Job


[ Squirrels at the feeder ]

March 9 – Another windy day and I could do without the breezes, but at least they are warm. Chris and I had decided we would spend some time out in the woods, cutting out some of the very many wild rose bushes. They do produce some rather inferior roses later in the year but are not worth the bother of protecting. The long and thorny branches stick out everywhere and prevent us from walking freely around.

Before leaving the house, we noticed that we had SIX squirrels at our bird feeder. We had never seen that many at one time before. Chris got out her camera and took some pictures before scaring the little pests away.


[ Rose BRAMBLES! ]

Gathering two rakes, gloves, and two clippers, we set out over to the area we had planned to work in. Some of the rose bushes had really thick stems and I don’t think we have ever cut them in the seventeen years we have lived here. I had the long-handled clippers that our friend Clyde gave us some time ago, and Chris had a shorter-handled set. Clip, clip, clip – I cut a number of stems from the clump and started pulling them out. They did not come easily, for the vines were all tangled together!

Fortunately the gloves I was wearing were heavy and I could actually grab the thorny stems without getting stabbed. I had to pull very hard and long to get the cut sections out of the clump, and if one had suddenly come free I probably would have fallen flat. I was thinking that if I did fall, I was going to call out loudly, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Chris might have been alarmed for a few seconds until I proved my statement false. It was surprising how long it took to cut down just one clump. We have weeks of work to finish the job, I fear, and may not even get it done this year.


[ Chris cutting wild roses ]

After three hours of work I made a motion that we go up to the house and get a drink and a change of occupation. I think Chris was not quite as eager, but since I had gone along with her rose-bush cutting plans, she came along and we deposited all our tools in the garage and went in the house. Chris was soon busy at the computer and I did some reading. Oddly, after being so warm outside, all dressed up to avoid thorn damage, I started feeling chilly with my jacket off and after a while decided to go have a hot bath and warm up. Much better after a half hour soak! I had to add hot water three times before ending my bath, but at least I warmed up again. – DALE

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