Before he came I had spent some time propping up our five peony bushes with stakes and rope, to keep them from lying down when the flowers opened and were heavy with dew or rain. I handed Robbie our chainsaw and in just a minute or two he had it running. That’s something I don’t seem able to do, for some reason.We were most anxious for him to work on our ancient apricot tree. Just a few yards from it stood our 36 inch satellite dish, which provides us access to ten religious stations, but lately all we could get was a big “No Signal”.
It seemed likely to me that fresh leaf growth above was cutting off our signal, so Robbie cut back a number of limbs but we still received NO SIGNAL. Finally he got to a largish limb and down it came, and back came our connection!While pulling two branches over the lawn, Chris called me to come and grab a snake. I hurried over and she pointed out a large black rat snake lying in some grass next to a tree. With no qualms I bent over and picked it up. Rat snakes are very docile and usually don’t try to bite even when freshly captured. It was around six feet long, and I held it up by the tail to have its picture taken. Chris took several photos and then I released the snake and away it went to find a good hiding place.
There were several other small trees that were either dead or dying or just useless – two Cornelian cherries, a plum tree, a thorny apricot tree that never gave us anything but a few small apricots that were usually rotten, and several tree stumps that needed to be removed from the lawn. This all gave us considerable woodwork to drag off to the burning pile.I am glad to have all of my houseplants out on the front porch at last. For the first two or three days there is always the danger of the plants getting sunburned but we had several days with cloudy mornings, so no sunburn. I had set out a sheet of carved woodwork from an old Indian display given by friends when they moved, planning to use it to deflect the sunshine which never hit us.
What did hit me was a very prickly cactus that fell over in its pot as I carried it out to the porch, and landed on my arm and hand. That cactus had small thorns that stayed in one’s flesh and were very irritating and difficult to find and remove! I decided to banish it from the house and offered it to Robbie, who also collects succulents, and he accepted. More later… – DALE