Spring Duties Begin

March 17 – We have had some lovely, warm days this week, in the mid-seventies with no wind. The first Daylight Saving Time day of the work-week was especially nice! Those of us who are retirees had little problem with this, as we could just arise and shine as we felt like it. Sorry for those who had to be at work an hour early.

160317_BurningPile

[ The burning pile grows ]

Ever since last fall I have been hoping my chain saw would start when I needed it. I even had it in the house to warm up but it refused to run. Today, hooray, it started up after just half a dozen pulls of the rope. I was able to go out and cut off some of the low branches on our two chestnut trees to enable Chris to drive under them a little easier when mowing the grass. And this I did, carrying away the cut branches to a nearby burning pile. Since it isn’t really good to cut off too much live wood at one time, I had to leave more branches than I would have liked. Some of those lower branches bear a lot of chestnuts, so Chris will just have to bend a little lower while driving the mower under those branches.

160317_ShuckingChestnuts

[ Low-hanging chestnut branches ]

Speaking of Chris, she has been suffering from a sore side caused by the handle of the clippers digging into her when she cut a too-thick branch. However, she wanted to cut more wild rose bushes, so she took an aspirin or two, and off she went.

While she was cutting rose branches, I went off to the barn to clean up some of the mess out there. I also replaced a front tire on the riding mower I had removed months ago to have a leak repaired. It was surprising how many little tools were needed to get that wheel back on the shaft, and I had to make several trips back into the workshop to get them. I even had to hand-pump the tire, as it was too much bother to get out the electric pumper. One of these days I shall bring out the battery from the basement and charge up the battery and see if it will start the mower.

160317_Walnuts

[ Walnuts – before and after ]

The work-shop next to the barn has been invaded by some wild creature, probably an opossum, and things were knocked to the floor all over the place. I went around picking them up and putting them back in place, and also found that mice had been eating the black walnuts that I had in various trays. I thought these trays were out of reach of mice, and for most of the winter they seemed to be, but today I discovered that many of them had been gnawed and the contents removed. The chips and dust from the gnawing were thick and needed a lot of dusting and brushing to clean them up. I carried three trays of nibbled walnuts out to the yard and dumped them in the Jerusalem artichoke bed where there was a lot of bare soil. Squirrels can come and finish off what nuts are still edible.

Spring tasks are beginning to appear! – DALE

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