After what seems like weeks of rain, wind and generally yucky weather (yes, that is an actual meteorological description in the Midwest), we finally had a beautiful sunny and relatively warm day with temps in the 50s. I couldn’t wait to get outside for a bit. This is the time of year to clean up all the winter debris. I know I raked those flower beds so where did all these leaves come from?
A big mess in the yard was our last chestnut which we cut down a week ago. We had already cut down two companions previously. The Chinese chestnut is a beautifully shaped tree with an umbrella-shaped top, large leaves, beautiful grayish bark and, of course, lots of chestnuts. These trees were very prolific. This would not normally be a problem as we have plenty of room – ninety acres, remember – and we have loads of other nut-bearing trees. Oaks, walnuts, hickory, plus fruit trees.
However, chestnuts have a seed hull which is very prickly, like a spiny sea urchin. You can only handle them with leather gloves and they are very painful to step on. They are also very prolific. When we cut down the first two chestnuts, we thought that we wouldn’t get any more seed pods without the pollinators. That was a mistaken idea. As you can see by the debris on the ground, there was still plenty to clean up.
I spent a couple of hours raking and gathered four wheelbarrow loads of hulls. There is still as much again to do tomorrow. What I couldn’t rake will eventually decompose but it will probably be a few years before anyone can go barefoot in that part of the yard.
It was a beautiful day. The first crocuses were finally brave enough to pop out. I even spotted a few spring beauties in bloom. In about a month, they will carpet the lawn so it looks like snow.
I sure was ready for lunch and a rest. And our dog Mikey was ready, too. Keeping me company and following me around was hard work.