Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

December 22, and I can’t believe I was out in my PA garden again this year!

Posted by C Scheftic on 2017/12/22

Last year, I reported on mowing my lawn on December 27. This year, predictions are that we will have snow on the ground for Christmas, with highs in the high 20s (Fahrenheit) and lows in the mid teens then and into the rest of that week.

But yesterday, December 21 (aka Winter Solstice), the temperature reached around 50. Today it headed well into the mid 50s. Even warmer than last year! I’d planned to go into my studio but couldn’t resist the urge to spend both afternoons in the back yard, wearing just sweatshirt, jeans, and boots. And very heavy suede gardening gloves.

I had some black raspberry bushes that I’ve been wanting to take out. I do love the berries—when I can salvage some that the birds leave me—but keeping them from spreading everywhere had just ended up being far more work than the berries were worth to me. I’ve been saying for few years that they had to go, that I’d dig them out in the fall. Then I’d get busy, not get to them beyond maybe a bit of pruning, and the next year it’d be, “Well, the bushes are there. I might as well enjoy another year’s harvest, and take them out this fall.” I’d spend some time during the summer trying to stop new runners, and promising myself they’d all come out after I was done harvesting. And then I’d go into busy-season and….

So, this week with warm temperatures and soft, moist ground, it was time for berry-bush-removal! I wasn’t counting, but I think I took out about 15, and cut them into small enough pieces that city-trash will take them. Half were picked up this morning; the ones from today are bagged up and will get put out for next week’s collection. There are two left that I didn’t get to before dark (though sunset has already started getting later, I just didn’t have quite enough daylight to finish those). But the ones I chose to leave are, deliberately, those in the least-convenient locations, so I hope that will convince me to complete the removal at my next opportunity! I’m almost there, though those last two may just stay where the are until spring…. Now what I have to do is to decide what I’ll put into the spaces where the (overcrowded!) berries used to be.

(Oh, and to compare this to last year, I didn’t feel the need to mow the lawn again this December. But I did spend an hour after sunset, after I’d had enough with the berries, both yesterday and today, raking up the last round of sweetgum leaves by street- and holiday-lights, and dumping those in my “browns” compost bin. Once again, though, no after-dark photos of any of this.)

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