Thursday, July 24, 2008

Scenes from a Summer's Day, 10

Scenes from a Summer's Day

Major Outdoor Summer Projects

Summer is a time for taking to task those grander scaled projects in our home, and this week was no exception to the rule. A large load of cedar red bark mulch was ordered and only supposed to be delivered tomorrow. When the doorbell rang Monday afternoon this week instead, I became a little flustered because we weren't ready and it was just too early for four yards of bark mulch to sit idle on a tarp somewhere for the week.

In progress with 300 feet of
landscape paper to install

Our older son has been parentally employed the past few weeks; first painting the fence - two coats, cutting circles and edging around all thirty some trees on the property where the end result was to add bark mulch into the holes to complete the task. When the bark mulch arrived, he sprang into action, edging around the remaining trees not yet finished, and then swiftly sought out the wheelbarrow to get the bark mulch moving off the pile.

Muscle building 101 - hockey summer workout

Another project was to simplify and create a maintenance-free rear garden bed where all our bird feeders were installed. Last year when hiring our landscaping crew, they insisted our garden would be simple to keep up with, not so. Just ask our children how they enjoy the HUGE task of weeding this flower bed alone each week, no joy found there because the soil consists of much clay, so all those lovely weeds are very difficult to remove from their roots.

To create this maintenance-free mode for the back garden, the project entailed the removal of the existing bark mulch, installing landscaping black paper on the soil, returning the original bark mulch over the paper, and then continue with the addition of all new mulch from the pile in the driveway. It seemed easier than it was, so complicated with just the landscape paper alone to go around all the shrubs and bushes. Golly!

There is nothing quite like already feeling somewhat overwhelmed by this grand task looming ahead, but perhaps God had a funny sense of humor with the arrival of the load five days before of its scheduled timing.

He knows though that I have a husband who wouldn't sit still and just allow the rest of the family to bring this goal to fruition by standing around and watching us, likely instead he would feel tempted to work alongside of us when he shouldn't or worse yet, couldn't, but mustered up a bit of adrenalin because he felt obligated to pitch in.

(Note; Some of these photos aren't great. Thick in laborious duties, I never thought to take photos earlier in the project, and had my cell phone nearby, so guess what I used instead of my camera? Better some, than none!)

Repositioning the bark mulch afterwards

Lots of bending and stooping this day

(note - lone sunflower growing courtesy of bird feeder droppings)

Ah, but wisdom prevailed no doubt, because now after a long hot day of moving together in unison, taking breaks to get out of the summer's heat, hydrating well during it all - I'm pleased to announce TA DA!!! D-o-n-e! This team was terrific! This team was to be praised!

At days' end we were all stiff from stooping to pick the weeds out of the way, cutting and laying the paper, shoveling, raking, pushing a wheelbarrow, raking some more, you know - after much sweat in the 90 degree breezy heat, a fabulous group effort working hard, we did it and I am very pleased it is behind us.


Looking at this garden bed on the size of our property, surely it doesn't look as big as it really is, however I took the photos below to give it some perspective.

Oh, and I stood our daughter in front of the willow tree we planted last year. It blossomed and grew well in just one year. Behind to the right in the photo, you can see the huge willow tree with the damage from the lightning strike fully exposed. We hope it lives.

My our willow tree has grown in just one year!

As the group effort was so wonderful, we all washed up and headed out for huge rewards! First stop, to acquire handfuls of "lickey licks" (ice cream), and head to the water's edge to recover. While there we noticed how lovely the bright blue sky looked against the white pillow puffy clouds to our right, and then when we glanced to our left, what a contrast. A ferocious storm was moving in, and fast!

Gorgeous skies one minute, a fierce storm the next

Not even 20 minutes lapsed between the photos above

Soon afterwards, gusty winds, hail, booming thunder and forks of lightning sounds in the skies and fell to the ground. Yikes!

Tornado warnings were sounding across the airwaves, and on the internet though we never heard or saw them. Just observing the sky we knew it was a scary storm approaching. And it was scary to find out four tornados touched down not far from our home, though no damage was done. We noted many funnel clouds and clouds zooming overhead to shadow that bright blue beautiful sky. Drats! What about my bark mulch I thought. What if the wind blew it all away?

I am happy to report, it rained so hard (monsoon flash flood) it all remained in place. Whew....we are so lucky.