Oct 122009

No, really.

This weekend, I decided to put some extra work into mowing the lawn. The first change was bagging the grass, which was a mixed blessing. While the lawn looks better for it, bagging works out best when your clippings are small. I hadn’t mowed in a couple of weeks. My clippings were not small. I have an awesome pile of grass behind my shed that must weigh in excess of 200 pounds.

Anyway. Our front yard has a pair of maple trees spaced about 15′ apart. Instead of the usual up-down pattern, I moved the mower to the base of the tree and mowed in growing spiral pattern. Once I hit the half-way point between the two trees, I moved to the base of the other tree and repeated. The result was a nice water ripple effect on the lawn, with the trees acting as the ripple source. I’m pleased with it.

In other news, I need to start devoting time every day to the various skills I want to improve—writing, drawing, and playing guitar. I haven’t drawn in ages. I last picked up my guitar weeks ago. I don’t know how to get into a good pattern with it. Any ideas?

Aug 272009

While mowing the lawn this past weekend, I noticed a nest about halfway up one of the two maple trees in our front yard. Once night had fallen, I gave it a good dousing with wasp killer. I continued to do this, spurred on by the invasions, until last night. Last night, I decided that it was coming down.

If I was going to do this, though, I would need armor. Cody and I spent a good half hour assembling all of the pieces that made up my final ensemble:

  • A pair of heavy, black galoshes
  • Snowpants
  • My Northeastern hoodie sweatshirt
  • A wire-mesh garbage can (for a helmet)
  • Leather work gloves

Duct tape sealed each “joint” in the suit, with the hood of the sweatshirt serving as an expanded neck to accommodate the mouth of the trashcan-turned-helmet. So armored, and equipped with a flashlight, an extending paint roller rod, and the wasp spray, I marched out to face my foes. Try as I might, I couldn’t see the nest. I needed more light. Assembling several extension cords, Cody and I ran a line out into the front yard to flood the tree with our ultra-bright halogen work-light. Now, the nest was visible.

As luck would have it, I couldn’t reach it. Just a few inches short. We attached a paint roller to the end of the rod, thereby extending its reach another foot or so. I could now use it to grab hold of the branch, bring it lower, and completely saturate the nest with wasp killer. I also spent a few minutes whacking at the nest, trying to knock it apart as best as I could.

Through all of this, there was no sign of a wasp. Was this nest old? Abandoned?

Satisfied that the nest had been destroyed, Cody and I withdrew most of the tools into the house. I marched over to another bush where I had seen the beginnings of a nest and gave it a good spraying as well. To return inside, I went to the back door — just in case anything decided to attack. After Cody inspected me for hangers-on through the screen door, I headed inside and doffed my armor.

The lack of corpses — or even attackers — left me somewhat unsatisfied. Had the entire endeavor been in vain?