May 12, 2024

I Do My Best Work Supervised

Walter came out to check out the activities Friday morning. The yard still needed another day to dry out but I had other projects to do. In the U-section in the back I had started the annual weed pulling. I needed to get up a look at my gutters in that section because of the rain water coming over the edge last week that I photo'd here. With gutter guards I couldn't imagine what had slipped inside the small holes to plug up the two downspouts.

So with the ladder set up and the management team in place I was ready to begin my exploration to check out the gutters. Notice all the end pieces to my patio deck are still missing? There is a reason for that. The first year living here, Watson being the puppy and Henry helping, they would pull those out to chew on. By the end of that first summer in 2021 I needed to buy 52 of them at a $1.20 each at the local Menards. 

Last summer I tapped them back in tight, installing all of them. I had left the house for just a couple of hours with the dog and hounds having the backyard and when I get back ... two of them are laying on the patio deck chewed and I found a couple more out in the yard. I think Henry is the main criminal in that. So I pulled them all out to save them for another day.

The pace of the day on Friday was just too much for Henry as he sunbathed most of the morning in that same spot. He really is a great supervisor. The gutters looked good and I found my problem. I had cut a small square section of gutter guard to cover a small area in the corners where the guards couldn't match tight. Yes, I could have cut off each end at an angle to fit flush but those last pieces were not long enough to do that. After three years of heavy rain, that small square section of guard broke loose and floated to the nearest downspout. What made it inside those very small holes of the guard was mostly soot, dirt washed off the roof had turned to mud ... blocking the downspout even more.

By 12 noon I was finished with that project and nothing else on the list for the day. I rode my mountain bike up the street to see what projects my friend was doing as he always has something going on. He was getting his car ready to take to the Subaru dealer for an oil changed on his 2015 Subaru Forester that has been everywhere off-road camping or towing a trailer of kayaks. He refuses to get rid of it in exchange for a new Subaru.

I had time and there was something I wanted to check out closer, at the dealer ... a car that I had been researching. Why am I still interested in cars or FJ's that can travel off road when I don't do that around here???? Honestly the chances are slim I will do that again.

But anyway ... I accepted his offer and off to Subaru we went.

The 2024 Crosstrek "Wilderness" trim for the first time on that model. They started the Wilderness trim on the Outback in 2021 and then the Forester in 2022. Why do I need this? Why am I so interested? It might have been this 15 minute video showing what it can do off the highway. Plus unlike other small SUV's, it tows 3,500 pounds, not 1,500. The sales force let my friend and I walk all over the lot checking their new and used Outbacks and Crosstreks, without bothering us. They cannot keep a used Toyota FJ in stock long before it's sold and they have made it known, they would love to have mine .... "What can we do to get you into this car, would you be trading in your FJ" ???

Ha Ha .... 

When I get bored I look at cars and houses that are for sale. Only the past year have I been able to control myself and not make the purchase of either of those that I like. Long time readers will know in my past it took me only minutes to complete the deal and write about a new car or truck I had purchased or where I was moving with a different house. .... Lately I have been bored. 

With the weeds slowly disappearing after a couple of hours of pulling them out of the ground on Thursday, my next yard project was trimming the bushes on the berm behind my fence. With all the rain we have had this spring, if it is a plant, weed, flower or grass ... it has grown exponentially compared to the normal growth. I needed another 100' extension cord for my hedge trimmer to reach the far corner of the berm towards the red barn. 

I just have those two small corners of green to pull. I don't like the rock there because I can't walk on it in bare feet ... but after three years of living here I still do not know what to do with this area.

You can see how the bushes are creeping towards my fence. I mow around a 7' strip of grass between the fence and those bushes ... Plus I wanted to trim the tree limbs that were growing through and over the AT&T cables and below the cables where they were hanging over my yard.

That far corner has almost grown to the fence. So the question was, could I hook 200' of electrical extension cord in the patio plug, and string that cord across the yard without a 4 month old puppy biting into the cord out of curiosity ??? Well Ava never even approached the cord at anytime as I walked the cord down along the top of the fence as I cut the bush line back so I could mow.

I cut the whole fence line of bushes first before attacking the small tree limbs. The biggest problem was finding a few pieces of flat stable land to set my ladder, which determined how high I could climb with my electric hedge trimmers. You can see I cut the bushes back quite a bit but no further than where I mow and no further than past years.

As you can see I had created quite a mess ... now ... what to do with all that? Too much to put in the trash bin for them to carry it away. I wasn't sure I even wanted to mess with it and actually thought for a short time that I would call someone and pay them to hall it away. My old friend up the street is an environmentalist when it comes to growing his yard, wild flowers, trees and his large backyard that slopes down toward a water wash of the neighborhood. He might use something like this ... so I grabbed my bike and rode up to his house for some expert advice.

It was not a problem for him to figure out, he had the immediate answer .... "put all of that stuff on the ground around all the trees on the berm" .... but it's all overgrown and I cannot walk back in there to do that ... "then throw all of it on top as far back as you can get. The animals will use it and nature will take care of it."

Just picking it all up with my hands and putting it on top or on any open space I could find, worked pretty well on my first section here. Once it was on top I used that red handled garden rake and pushed my brush further into the bushes and down towards the ground. I also used that rake to drag out all the loose limbs that I had cut.

This gives you some idea what it looks like after tossing all the brush into an opening or on top of the bushes and before I shoved it back further with my rake.

I was amazed how fast I moved down the fence line and there always seemed to be an opening in the brush for me to toss in the excess when I needed a spot.

The final step was to take the large leaf rake and get every thing left on the ground and toss it into the bushes. 

I was shocked when I looked at my watch. That "clean up" phase only took 32 minutes. And my friend was right about the animals ... while sitting on the patio last night two rabbits showed up at the corner section pictured in the photo above and was getting things from the ground to eat. After they scampered off, the squirrels stopped by and they were thrilled with the new stuff laying around. Watson stared at them but never left the patio and never bayed at them. Maybe Ava's quietness is rubbing off on him.

I forgot to mention that before I started the tree limb and bush project, I mowed the yard. With some excess grass blowing out of under my mulching plate because the grass was so tall after our rain this week, I made two trips in different directions to pick up that loose grass and get an even cut on the lawn ... something I would not have done with my self-propelled push mower. Again, the riding John Deere is well worth the money.

I'll post another post tonight of the hounds and dogs today. No plans right now that I can think of and they are all taking their 7:30am daily naps after food and some playing. They will come with something to blog about I'm sure. Walter and Watson are still snoring after 46 minutes of sleep.

It's a beautiful morning here in "the tropics" of Southern Indiana.


  1. Your yard looks great and things look so nice at your house.
    Have a great day !

  2. A lot of work and effort put into the back yard, but the results are great. Look forward to photos of the gang tonight.

    1. Thanks. At times it seems like a full time job keeping things looking nice.