Winter is coming

And that means that Mary and I are spending our morning doing yard work, hard physical labor. I’ve already killed one tree and dismembered it, and next I’m going to murder a lot of shrubbery.

They’ll get their revenge tonight when I’m lying prostrate and moaning about my sore muscles and aching back, though.


  1. blf says

    Presupposing the vegetable massacre is necessary & useful — e.g., results in better cheeses & MUSHROOMS!, no peas, and fewer horses — isn’t the labour what students are for?

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    GoT reference!
    may the WhiteWalkers stay behind the wall, as dragons will fly again. oooooh, wahhhh!!!
    how long before next (final) season starts???? I personally don’t care but my S.O. is fanatic.

  3. robro says

    As a friend told me recently, we’re at an age where we need to spend our time finding someone else to do this kind of work. Still, I spent last Sunday dismembering a tree which was predeceased of natural causes (age).

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    One of the upsides of living in an apartment building is that the cost of paying someone to do the biomass management and husbandry is shared by dozens of households.

  5. whheydt says

    What is this “Winter” of which you speak? Is it the “rainy season”? Now if only we would *get* some rain….

  6. says

    Same here in Madison, WI, PZ.
    I was tackling the foliage this morning as my partner was up on the roof cleaning the gutters.
    A few hours, a thousand bug bites, and sore throbbing knee later, the yard is ready for more junk to fall on it.
    Looks good for now. A hot shower and maybe some muscle relaxant later.
    I used to like yard work, but at 53, it isn’t so appealing anymore.
    Ah, to be 28 again.

  7. says

    I was trying to wrap up some terrain works today, before the weather becomes such as to make it impossible. I had to move a few hunderd kilograms of wet earth around, as I was doing the whole summer at every oportunity. I am with you on the whole “moaning about sore muscles”.

  8. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Still pushing 90F here, so have to wait a bit longer before resuming my privet extermination campaign as I simply cannot take the heat even in the shade of the woods. Also need to finally get a small-ish chainsaw as the reciprocating saw is way too slow on green trunks/limbs more than ~5″ diameter.

    Did get a bunch of native milkweed and joe pye weed seeds that need to be started. Fortunate that they take a while to really develop their roots systems as fixing the stormwater erosion+flooding problem is going to take a while with just a shovel and wheelbarrow. The hill can be planted immediately, but the back-filled creek bed and 18″ concrete pipe is going to be turned into a pair of retention ponds to keep the water well away from the house and stop the pipe outflow washing out any more tree roots or making the now-ravine any deeper. That tiny 18″ pipe is the low point of two large hills that gets fed runoff from 10+ lots on one street, some runoff from a second street, and lots of runoff from a state road that cuts a stream through the neighbor’s landscaping during heavy rain.

  9. Lofty says

    Small electric chainsaws make a mockery of tree murdering. No noise when stopped and they don’t get hard to start after months of storage. They now even make cordless ones that pack enough grunt for pruning. Best of all no engine vibration to turn your arthritic hands into a mass of pain.

  10. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Been looking to get a certain Ryobi 14″ chainsaw billed as having ‘gas-like power’: nice 40V lithium chemistry power pack, big BLDC outrunner for driving the chain, automatic chain oiling system, and an easily reprogrammed motor controller for potentially repurposing to other projects. ‘Frozen Chainsaw Massacre’, a Power(wheels) Racing Series entry, uses two of them for mid-/rear-engine, rear wheel drive.

  11. unclefrogy says

    looking at consumer reports the Ryobi looks OK for 200 the top rate is a Ego cs140l at 300 better speed, safety and ease of use.
    I never heard of Ego before and I am looking to get a new saw all my gas ones are old and wont start it’d be more expensive to fix the old ones then replace ’em. I only need it once in a while anyway.
    uncle frogy

  12. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Hmm. Only $250 with a 56V 2Ah battery and comes with 5 year warranty same as the Ryobi. Also rated IPX4 and includes a proper kickback brake and a namebrand bar+chain, where the Ryobi has no IP rating, relies entirely on over/under speed lockouts in the motor controller without any mechanical protections, and uses nameless bar+chain. Only reason for hesitation is that it is a newer company so replacement battery in a few years might be hard to acquire if they do not last, but non-internal battery mounting makes it much easier than the Ryobi to use it like my reciprocating saw and power it with a jumbo LiFePO4 pack in a backpack.

    Yep, definitely seems worth the extra $50. Thanks, uncle frogy.

  13. ffakr says

    I feel for you.. I was meaning to post when you were looking for tree recommendations as I was about to murder an amazing pine in the next few days myself. [must have been 35-40′ tall, no branches, not even pruned off, on the lower 25′-30′ of trunk.. which was straight as an arrow.]

    This year seems to be the year of murdering trees.. at least for me.
    I cut down that Pine, which turned out to be about 80 year old, because of a carpenter ant infestation that I couldn’t knock out this time. Turns out only maybe 15% of the base of the trunk was actually eaten way, but it’s never a good thing to have any Carpenter Ant infestation 10′ away from your 135YO Frame house.. even if the 40′ Pine isn’t actually just about to fall over. :-(

    Few weeks back, just before I flitted off to Ireland for a week or so, I had to cut down a 20′ Maple in the back yard.. I guess I didn’t have to do it with a hand saw.. but it seemed the manly way to do it.
    This week, the Village took down one of the Maples on the parkway in front of my old house.

    Oh well.. the Elm in the back is still healthy, as far as I can tell at least. I’d cry if I lost the 100+YO elm with the the 11’+ circumference trunk.. and not just because I got a $3500 estimate to remove it when we lost one of the larger limbs in a storm a few years back. Lucky I wasn’t home when the tree company came out, I’d have slapped them had they told me to my face that the whole thing had to come out. ;-)

    BTW.. if you’re still looking for votes on the replacement tree recommendation.. I’m partial to Black Locust. If I ever get around to murdering that awful Mullbery [aka. the world’s largest weed] in the back yard, the Black Locust is on the short list.

  14. says

    Well, the real fun here will start once we rent the area behind our garden from the town. Because the previous owners used to use that parcel but then gave it up some 20 years ago what you get is an area overgrown with weeds, brambles, stinging nettles. The trees there are dying because they’ve been overrun by diverse climbing plants.

  15. Rich Woods says

    Since my yard comprises 20′ x 4′ of north-facing concrete, permanently shaded, this weekend’s maintenance plans involve separating dwarf banana plant insets from their parent and repotting. There’s just enough sunlight on the upstairs windowsill to keep them happy over winter.