Sunday, December 16, 2012

Luck Holds

I have been struggling with my sweet bays since 2010.  I worked hard to try to save them, but this fall, following the advice of a professional, I sent my bay trees to what I thought was an icy death  in the brush pile.  I wanted closure and given the cold weather and frosts we have had, I thought I had it.  Today Ed took pictures of the sweet bays.  Instead of dropping their leaves and dying like any well behaved zone 7 plant might do, they are making new leaves.

Of course the new leaves still have the disgusting disease is that caused me to ostracize them in the first place.  They are lucky to have survived December, but I will not weaken.  Smart gardeners grow healthy plants and  discard the sick ones.  I'd like to think I'm getting smarter!   I would like to think Ed is getting smarter too.  If not I hope his luck holds.  His confession, story follows.

Three highly invasive plants are slowly but surely taking over our abandoned fields.  They are blackberry briers, a rose introduced by the NYS Conservation Department to control erosion and Japanese Honeysuckle.  Since winter has not yet found us, uprooting honeysuckles seemed like a good way to use this day.  Using the Ford Ranger as an anchor for the cable winch and the pry bar to wiggle loose the far ranging roots, five of these monsters were pulled from the ground.

A pry bar is a simple machine capable of producing great force.  Some precautions are required for its safe use.  Thumbs should be always aligned with fingers when grasping the bar.  If the thumbs wrap around the bar, a sudden slip can easily dislocate a thumb or two.  The bar should be solidly placed to prevent slipping before force is applied.  A sudden slip could have caused trouble today.

A head high spindly honeysuckle should have been easy to remove.  Its roots were massive running several feet in various directions.  Many roots had been forced clear and the bush was on its side.  I was trying to roll it to finish it off.  Without warning the bar slipped launching me into the air flying over the bush, clearing it by at least a yard.  Instinctively I landed in a front somersault followed by a feet high half twist that brought me gingerly to the ground.  Flat on my belly facing the bush I felt no pain.  I could not believe my luck.  Approaching birthday 69 is no time for such antics.  Serious injury could have been my lot today.  Still, I cannot believe my luck.  During the vault my ankles were not touching and my toes were not pointed so gymnastic  judges would have scored my move not much more than my age.  Not likely to get smarter, I must rely on luck and instinct.  Still, there is no pain but I suspect several aches find me come morning.

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