This week I was blessed by the usual end-of-January boost that we get around here. It always surprises me, because most of the month, and probably for a good bit of February, I am struggling against the dark and sometimes the cold. I think I am depending on the Christmas lights around my kitchen window to bolster my mood. But this is the time that we get some sunny days and I have to go into the back yard to do some kind of chore, and suddenly I see buds and flowers, and smell the fresh and cool air.
On the Monday holiday, Soldier son came to prune the wisteria and the plum tree, but didn’t have time to cut up the branches and get them into the trash, so he made a tidy stack under the tree.
I considered hiring a young man from church to finish the job, but it seemed like that might be more trouble than tackling it myself; I have often done this part before. On Thursday I decided to have at it for 20 minutes and see how much progress I could make.
It was so lovely to be out there, I ended up spending more than an hour, and I reduced the stack by about half. This cherry plum sends up very straight branches every year and I always want to save a bunch of them, envisioning row markers or bean poles or even just kindling for the wood stove. So I made a separate pile of those. It makes me feel young and strong to work with those loppers and my leather gloves, and I even enjoy the slight muscle ache that arrives two days later. This afternoon I pretty much leveled the pile of trimmings.
I kept brushing up against the strawberry tree, and its little pale green fruits dangled around. Pale green leaves are sprouting on the rose geranium, and I wandered around the garden to admire tiny buds on the snowball bush, the earliest spring flowers, and the beginnings of manzanita blooms.
Sara inspired me this week with her post about following a tree, and I thought of observing our strawberry tree. I think I won’t take part officially in the group project, but I have observed now in January, and that’s a start!
The yard waste bin was not big enough to hold all the twigs and branches I collected, so I filled a couple of these garden containers that are a modern form of trug. After the big bin is emptied next week I’ll dump the rest of the clippings in. And then I better prune my dear rose bush!