Trimming, clean up and… NOT mowing the lawn?

With predictions for rain tomorrow and storms the day after, I decided that this was my day to try and mow the lawn.

Of course, nothing is quite that simple around here.

When I got outside, I was greeted by…

20180528.seed.drifts

… a reminder of one of the reasons I stopped liking Chinese elm.  There are millions of these seeds, being blown everywhere.  They’re starting to drift in places, and they’re coming off the trees like rain with every breeze.

Ugh.

Before I could mow the lawn, I needed to clear the back door into the garage of trees.  This will be needed for when the power pole is replaced, but also to get the mower in and out.

Let me find a before picture…

20180429doors

Hmm.  Apparently, I don’t have a picture that includes the fence, as well.

You can see that there are saplings growing in front of the door and along the garage walls.  More were growing along the fence to the gate.  Most of is was poplar, but I also found some raspberry canes and vines, and along the fence was an unintentional coppice of maple.

I had noticed a metal pipe in the middle of the maple, but had left it until I could start cleaning up the area.  So while clearing the saplings away, I pulled it out and…

20180528.surprise.hoe

… it’s a hoe.  Someone replaced the handle of a hoe with a length of heavy pipe.

Well, it’s certainly not going to break. :-/

This is the after picture.

20180528.garage.cleared

I started stacking the saplings I cleared outside the yard, alongside the garage, which you can see part of on the right of the photo.  I cut away poplar towards the outhouse, too.  There’s more that needs to be cleared, there, but it will wait for another time.

Leaning against the garage and half buried in tall grass and dead branches, I pulled out three lengths of … hmm.  I don’t know the name of them.  They’re used as ramps to drive a vehicle onto a trailer or something like that.  Two were longer and the same length, plus there was a shorter one.

I ended up using the shorter one to cover the hole in front of the outhouse.  It will do double duty in keeping the door from coming open on in the wind again.

I found other stuff in the grass and leaves.

20180528.concrete.blocks

Along with more branches, some plastic margarine tubs and what might have been a metal tobacco tin, I found these concrete blocks.

I’ve left them for now.

20180528.tire.planter1

Ah, yes.  Another tire planter.

You can see part of the remains of the maple I cut away in the bottom right corner.  I had some concerns about accidentally hitting the remains with a lawn mower, so I decided to take advantage of wanting to move the planter and cover it with the soil.

Flipping the planter over, I heard an unexpected noise.

20180528.tire.planter2

Metal on brick.

Not sure why the bricks are there.  It’s not like they could support anything under there.

20180528.tire.planter3

I don’t know what was planted in there, but it was amusing to see a perfect mold of the rim in the root systems and soil.

Since there was this handy hoe nearby, I used that to move the dirt over the remains of the maple.

Once it was all cleared away, I got the lawn mower out.  Finally!

It didn’t want to start, but my brother did tell me it was finicky.  It didn’t help that the part that held the throttle cable to the handle frame kept popping off.  Nothing a zip tie couldn’t fix.

I finally got it going, but it didn’t have a lot of oompf. Still, I was able to mow along the fence line and around a few trees before I started working on a section in front of the house.

Then it puttered and died.

I checked the fuel.  There was still some in there, but low (I’d started with about half a tank or so), so I topped it up with the gas my brother had left for me with the mower, when he did maintenance on it in the fall.

I got it going again, but it kept stalling.  It ran as long as I was going over areas where there was hardly any grass, but as soon as I hit slightly greener areas, it would stall again.

And again.

And again.

By this point, it was getting too hot to be working outside, anyways, so I finally just put it away.

So frustrating.

I did some research to see what might be causing the problem, and the only thing that seems to make sense is the fuel didn’t handle the winter well.  Yet, it was stored properly.  It shouldn’t have gone bad in so short a time.

I just don’t have the spoons to fight with it.

It will have to wait.  Not after all the clean up I’d already done.

Ah, well.  There are other things that need to be worked on.

The Re-Farmer

 

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