Clean up: south fence path progress, and finding flowers

Today, I finally had both the time and the weather conditions to work on the south fence line of the spruce grove (there there aren’t actually any spruces left…).

So, while waiting for the freshly washed gates to dry, I brought out the weed trimmer, my new reciprocating saw, and a whole lot of extension cord!

Here is my first progress shot.

I was able to use the weed trimmer almost to the other end before I ran out of extension cord. There is an outlet on the other end I will use when I get to working that fence line again.

The main thing was to trim the path between the fence and where I know my mother had planted flowers. In the process, I made sure to clear the ground around the stumps in the path as closely as I could. I wanted to cut those right at ground level, so they would not be a tripping hazard.

In the process, I found little bitty stumps from past trimmings – before we mover here – to clear, too!

I put the 10 inch blade on my saw and tested it out on some stumps near the garage, first, and it worked out really well. I was able to get cuts tighter to the ground than if I were using my chain saw, so having a chain so dull it barely cuts has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. 🙂

Here is how it looked, later.

No more stumps to avoid!

I am really happy with my new toy. 😀

Unfortunately, I had to stop part way through.

I had cleared to the far end and was starting to thin some of the trees there, when my daughter came over to let me know there was a call. My sister and mother had called and left a message, saying they were wanting to swing by, so my mom could visit her farm.


There’s a reason I asked her to plan a visit in advance. Many reasons, in fact.

So I stopped working and came in to listen to the message and try to call my sister back.

No connection.

After trying several times, I figured they were on their way and in the cell phone dead zone we live in.

So my daughter and I did some quick clean up in the house, though I knew it would never be good enough. For me, this included some clean up outside, to make sure my mom could access the hand rail to climb the steps, if she wanted to go inside.

That included sweeping the drifts of Chinese Elm seeds that keep accumulating, so she wouldn’t slip on them.

After a while, I finally just made sure I had the key for the gate chain’s lock in my pocket and went back to work.

I didn’t get enough done to make it worth taking a picture of, but I did thin some things out near the garage, which let me get at a large dead tree I’ve been tripping over all winter. Thankfully, it was rotten enough to break into several pieces, making it easier to drag out and toss over the fence.

Then my sister and mom arrived.

The next while was spent walking around the yard, with my mom asking me things like, why aren’t these flowers blooming? You should water them (Mom, it’s not their season to bloom yet. Also, I do water them. See? I even keep the sprinkler here for them). And assuming I destroyed the spruce trees she planted against the chain link fence, when she couldn’t see them (they matched the colour of the tall grass outside the fence). When we finally came close to them, I was told I should water them. Then she was wondering why I pulled the vines out from one of the tire planters (Because it was Virginia creeper. No it wasn’t; it was a different kind – like that bit coming up over there. My sister: that’s Virginia creeper). She wanted to see the grape vines, which are showing quite a few more leaves. They’ll recover, she assured me. You should water them. I do, Mom. Or walking past the dwarf Korean lilac, wondering why it’s not blooming yet (it blooms later than the others, Mom). Then she wanted to see the garden, which is completely overgrown except for the part we mulched. I was then told I should call the renter and ask him to bring some of his cows over to eat the grass. No, Mom. We can’t have cows in the yard. You can watch them! No, Mom. It doesn’t work that way. She really wanted to see the linden tree and how it was blooming. It’s not blooming, Mom. It didn’t bloom last year. I’m not seeing anything this year. We get to the tree and are looking at it, when my sister spots the tiniest of buds.

Lots of them.

Turns out they bloom later, too.

On and on it went. She had lots to say and lots of things to ask why I did them, and lots to tell me I should do, or should be doing (give me time, Mom!) but not a single complement. Not even a comment about how she can now walk through the maple grove with the walker, since not only have I cleared it, but I’ve been able to mow it and had weed trimmed most of it.

I did get to tell my sister about all the things that I’m seeing coming up, now that it’s clear in there. She was pleasantly surprised to see the wild strawberries. Then she identified some plants for me.

They are really small, but at the top centre of the photo, in the space between some roots, are what I first thought were Lily of the Valley – until I saw their flowers. She says they are Solomon’s Seal. In the centre, bottom of the photo are False Solomon’s Seal.

We do have actual Lily of the Valley, coming through the mulch in the old kitchen garden. The leaves are just breaking through the mulch.

After walking around, we sat outside in the lovely weather and chatted.

Also, we got entertained.

The kittens had gotten into the old kitchen again, and were still there when they arrived. My mother wanted to go through the old kitchen to get at the bathroom, which made things interesting – the kittens REALLY want to go through the door into the main part of the house! So my sister and I talked a bit about the kittens, while my mom rifled through the bathroom cabinet, rearranged the stuff on the counter and threw a towel on the floor. Because, of course. :-/ This was most likely her passive aggressive way of saying the floor needed to be washed.

After our tour around the yard, while sitting outside and chatting, we got visited by other cats. My mother was using my late father’s walker and sitting on it when Rolando Moon came over, went underneath and hid behind her skirt. It was so funny; all I could see was a butt on one side, and paws on the other. 😀

After a while, they had to leave and I had to go get my younger daughter from work, so we said our good byes.

I did at least get to put away my tools before heading out.

Not sure when I’ll be able to work on the area again.


Ah, well. Some progress is better than none!

As for me, I’m exhausted now.

Not because of the yard work I did, though! 😀

The Re-Farmer

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