Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Nature! Goulet!

Things discovered while doing eight hours of yard work over the last three days:

Ants run around and freak out a lot especially when you stick a shovel accidentally right into their home. Twice. Eviction notice served.

Tiny wild strawberries are growing in our backyard, they are so little and bright and I stepped on most of them before I realized they were even there.

A curled crinkly snake skin that I mistook for steel wool until I picked it up and felt how light and airy it was. I was then very alert for the presence of snakes, which I actually like, especially in comparison to...

About twelve spiders of varying sizes and shapes and levels of aggression. Most ran away from my enormous gloved hands, one panicked and ran up my shovel and then the ring leader looked right at me and ran towards my shoes. Towards me? Run away, dummy. I'll spare your life if you run away. We are outside, the bug killing rules are different out here. I'm not scared of spiders while wearing gloves and in the yard, but catch me surprised while in the basement barefoot and holding a large pile of clean laundry and I'll scream like a little girl and make Joe come down and kill you like he killed your friend last week. (It was a legitimately large spider in our basement last week. Like so large I thought I had tricked myself into thinking it was a spider when it was just a big leaf. Until it moved. And of course it was intentionally blocking my exit. There seem to be a lot of these in our basement this spring. It happened again on Saturday and now I must remember to wear shoes at all times while in basement. I had nightmares about spiders last weekend for the first time in years. This used to be a frequent occurrence, cue screaming child and parents racing in from their bed in the middle of the night. I kept the screaming under control, because I'm mature and all, but I couldn't keep my arms from tingling and my neck from feeling like creepy legs were walking over it in the deep dark.)

I need to weed more than every two years because these poor ants have established these lovely homes scattered inside of my flower beds and I've wrecked another one. I'm an ant home wrecker. I feel guilty and I've got ants scurrying frantically all over my shoes.

If you get rosemary on your hands they'll smell like rosemary for several hours. I keep smelling my hands, but not in a weird Mary Katherine Gallagher kind of way, ok, a little bit like that, but more herby than sweaty.

I like shovels. They make me feel strong. I think I'd rather keep a shovel by the bed than a firearm. A good solid thunk to the head would probably take down any burglar, plus it would sound like a cartoon, right? Like dropping an anvil on their head? But then I'd probably trip on it, or drop it on my foot or something stupid. I think I'll just stick with calling 911 and cowering.

I'm more scared of poison ivy than is reasonable. I hate it more than spiders. And washing yourself with that super expensive drying anti-poison ivy wash is totally worth the rash in my chin and dry skin that makes my forehead look like I'm 92 for a week. Nearly anything is worth avoiding that itchy, weepy, swollen hell of poison ivy.

Working in the yard with Joe makes me feel like the unemployable cousin of the owner of a landscaping business. Joe is the unfortunate foreman of the project who is stuck with me as his employee. In reality, I'm actually perfectly competent and a pretty hard worker, but Joe's a perfectionist and has a precise method to everything he's doing, and I need to follow his rules. Which means he has to explain it to me and then watch my progress and offer tips. It sucks and when I told him this whole foreman theory he dubbed me "unemployable cousin Nick" and mockingly started calling me "Nicky" and then of course started telling me what I should and shouldn't do in a more exaggerated way than he already does. This was funny for about a minute, nope, thirty seconds, and then when I defended myself and said "Hey, I'm a hard worker," he said "Hard workers don't talk about how hard they work, they just work." We ended this little game and finished putting down weed repellant sheets and mulch and planting some decorative grasses. All while I flicked him off behind his crouched back and made rude faces at him, as Nicky, of course. Then I left him and went up to the front yard to work without a supervisor, since putting down mulch doesn't require supervision. Or guidance, or a precise method.

The yard looks great. New plants, herbs, some flowers and 20 bags of mulch. Now to just keep them from drying up by June. What's going on in your yard this spring? Or are you smart enough to live in an apartment?




Kristendom said...

This sounds incredibly productive. Our yard is making little headway with Non-Breathing Nellie here and Gimpy Gus as my partner. Apparently we're both 60 instead of 35. But hopefully sometime soon we'll get some work done! Can't wait to see your results!

Nae said...

I almost, i said almost (thank god) spit coffee on my monitor when I read the Nicky part. muuuuuahahahahahaha! I heart this post, your yard sounds lush and 'neat' :) The snakes however, cam go hang in the neighbors yard.