Part 1

Landscaping estimate: $150 dollars
Borrowed chain saw: zero dollars

A man and his machine: priceless

There is nothing so macho and envigorating as striding forth to do battle with a tree toppled mid-height. The weekend warrior strides forth, chainsaw in hand to assess the project. He nods and returns to the house, rummaging for supplies.

Spool out 200′ orange extension cord.

It is 15′ too short.

hello!

Get 2nd 200′ extension cord.

Connect all cords. Push the button. No response. Push button again, squeezing harder. No response. Hmmm…maybe no juice at the house? Oh, no, here’s the safety switch. Eureka! Power to the people!

Macho ManA mere twenty minutes later, the 8″ diameter of the tree has been reduced to four sections of aspen tree trunk. Blades on this model do not appear to have the same sharpness as their larger models…cursing ensues as the chain saw whines against the trunk, finally severing it… more due to perseverence than actual cutting ability of the tool.

Now, what else is there to cut?

Ragged dead limbs of pine trees are hacked off, dense hard tack is given a beating, but not too much cutting (see reference to blade sharpness, above).

Mounds of branches now litter the driveway. Drag them to cliff and toss them over…trudge back, collect more branches and notice many twigs and smaller branches have dropped on the way to the cliff… oh well, worry about that later. Around about the fifth trek (hurray! the sun has come out! – hot!) to the back cliff you realize there is now a continuous stream of twigs and smaller branches between the felled tree and the cliff edge.

Sweating profusely (with possibly a few choice curses thrown in under his breath), the weekend warrior declares that the tree is down, the main portions have been removed and therefore, his job is done.

Maine. The way a vacation should be…sing with me now….”Ma-cho, Ma-cho Man!”

Part 2

Dog Duty

Duncan and Dixie PoseDixie and Duncan love everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY. Lately, however, Duncan has begun to take exception to other dogs. Outside he is fine. Playing and running on the beach with other furballs are no problem. Get him in the house with a relatively new-to-him dog and he has become somewhat unpredictable. He lunges, snarls and is ready to perform a King-of-the-Hill war for dominance. Inside he will not allow other dogs to greet him via the rear although he insists on having the option himself.

Cassie is a mellow yellow lab who exhibits classic submission postures and avoidance behavior. It hasn’t appeased Duncan. So here I am, on dog duty. He is tethered to my left hand. He is mostly calm, but he does like to move a bit…which jerks the hand which messes the typing or even (crap!) erases whole sections of it.

Rats!

Oh well, it kept me out of the work crew doing battle with aged screen doors…

Maine Work Crew

Part 3

Poppies!

Abandoned Poppies

In a nearby lot, once home to a now-gone hotel, are the remnants of a rather nice garden. The plants were abandoned but they don’t seem to mind. Among batches of purpley-blue lupine spires and hedges of white and lavender lilacs are these oriental poppies enjoying the Maine coastal breezes. Poor things. We brought a few home and pray they will grace our garden as well as they formerly graced the old (not Bates, I asked) hotel.

Our pack of dogs loved the walks through the woods to the beach. We saw a wild turkey and her baby chicks…unfortunately, so did the dogs. It took a while before we were able to convince them to focus on anything else! The turkey family was kept safe, thanks to our efforts. Maine wildlife!

Fields of ladyslippers

Nowhere else have I ever seen so many lady slippers in one place. Around home we see one or two in our woods at the end of the street. This year I saw even more in Maine than last year.

White LadyslippersI vaguely remember seeing pale yellow and white ladyslippers long ago, but not in recent memory. Then, off to the side of the field of ladyslippers, I saw these…Gorgeous!

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