Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Last Load ?

A basic requirement for a woodland garden is a thick cover of rotting hardwood leaves.  These sumac trees provide dappled shade but few leaves.  Nearby villages are the source of the bagged leaves.  After raking their lawns, residents drag their bags of leaves to the curb for the village crews to pick up.  Strangers are allowed to beat the village crews to the task and haul away the leaves themselves.  Experience identifies which residents have tidy lawns and therefore clean leaves.  There is some competition for the best leaves but so far no fights have broken out.  Leaves that have been chopped by the mowers before bagging are the real prize.  Nearly all of the bags in the photo contain chopped leaves.  It has been raining and they are wet and heavy!

Sunday, while returning home form the trip to Syracuse, leaves were picked up in Norwich.  A man that uses the locker near mine at the YMCA saves his chopped leaves for me.  Since my recent hamstring injury sustained while placing my groceries on the checkout conveyor, I have been largely inactive.   My truck was in Norwich anyway so I saw a chance to remove the leaves that he had saved for me.  More leaves were gathered at nearby homes.  That bag at the right end of the load caused a major problem.  A swinging heave up over the tailgate was attempted.  At the start of the upward move three crunching noises were heard coming from my right shoulder.  The accompanying pain doubled me over.  A trip to the ER resulted in a visit to an orthopedic clinic and rehabilitation starts next week.  That would be physical rehab since there is no known help for my system used to make decisions.  It may not sound like it but my luck continues to hold.  If I am smart about what I choose to do a full recovery is possible.  Somewhat slow to learn, today I removed the bags of leaves from the truck using primarily my left hand.

The brown dead grass in the foreground illustrates another method used to try and remove the quack grass.  Despite the thick layer of covering grass clippings, new quack grass is appearing.  That may look like a failed attempt to remove the pest but it was expected.  New quack grass roots have formed at the surface of the soil and will be easily removed.  Every trace of root must go or the pesky grass will reclaim this area.  We plan to place tall native meadow plants here since this area is in full sun.  This is planned to be a no care garden after the massive task of removing the quack grass is completed.  No care gardens are mostly an unfilled dream but we frequently attempt the unlikely.

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