Wednesday, November 10, 2021


This past weekend Mamie helped me tidy up the back yard a bit – cutting back the dead hosta, throwing out the browned chrysanthemums, clipping down the astilbe.
     Not too taxing, outside of the many trips to dump the clippings and the worry that one of the neighbors might narc me out for the compost pile I’ve hidden in the woods back of the rhododendron.

          Today provided much more dramatic backyard entertainment.

          It began when I looked out of our front door and found a giant log hauler parked in front. A scan to the left showed bobcats, and a chipper truck. Good thing we’d just returned from breakfast out and had no desire to go anywhere soon because we also had a massive crane parked in our driveway. 

Evidently, they were partying at our house because of the big poplar that was struck by lightning this summer, a boom I won’t soon forget. 

Unfortunately, this is the tree with a trellis where I’d finally successfully coaxed a clematis to grow.

          With the clematis in mind, My Guy hied himself outside to request that they leave a 10-foot stump. The loggers called the board (the ones who’d never bothered to tell us we’d be visited today by large men in hardhats), who said no, it had to come all the way down. Otherwise, we would be responsible for the cost should the board decide at a later date the remaining stump really, really had to come down. We said, fine, we’d cover the cost. (We have somewhat conflicted emotions when it comes to the condo board since they threw innumerable and illogical roadblocks in our way when we glassed in our screen porch, using the exact same process and company our neighbor employed with nary an objection.)

          We then pulled up our porch chairs and hoped we wouldn’t soon be joined by a 20-foot chunk of poplar.





Come to think of it, my former teaching career looks downright easy in comparison.



  1. I'm sure Mamie was a great help. That sure does look like scary work. Hope everything turned out all right.

  2. Yes, all in all, it went pretty quickly. Fascinating to watch so close.

  3. Good for you for saving the clematis, at least for now. Condo boards -- ugh!

  4. I have seen them cut down those large trees and you do hold your breath. But they always do a good job down here. We don't have to contend with a condo issue.

  5. We're having trees in the National Forest behind our property cut by the state for a fire break. Normally, all we see is Nature, but now there is lots of heavy equipment. The trucks enter the forest right beside our house. Luckily, I wake up early! Goodness, you could probably cut the stump down yourselves. You wonder sometimes how people in power make their decisions.

  6. I once removed a tallish (high as the roof top) shrub from my daughter's yard with a small folding five-dollar pruning saw. Took me a couple of months though. it was kind of fun at the time, but I won't ever be doing that again.

  7. We don't live in a community like yours but our town seems to have an odd and uneven way of enforcing bylaws.


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