Advertise With Us||Links||
Submission Guidelines||Subscribe to Feed||Contact
Little Back Yard of Horrors
by Dave in Texas
I have to say it’s been a strange spring, weather-wise. 5 inches of snow on the Saturday night before Easter, evening temps in the low 50s. Weird. For central Texas anyway.
But this weekend was pretty normal by our standards… close to 80 yesterday, breezy and nice. It was a good day to get dirty.
I’ve been needing to replace a few plants in the back yard that were assaulted by a beagle. Little shit chewed up a banana tree and a Mexican fan palm. For those of you unfamiliar with the fan palm (Washingtonia robusta, no idea where that name came from), they are a tough palm with leaves that are connected along the vanes, and they spread up and out, shucking dead growth around the base of the trunk. They’re tough, can handle a freeze, and look great around a pool.
They’re also dangerous. Got serrated shark teeth edges, sharp as a razor, and black lifeless eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be living... until he bites ya.
So anyhow it’s a nice day and I get in the truck and drive out to the Lonesome Pine Nursery, to find a couple of healthy specimens. They point me to the little, sick looking ones first. Bah. I already have my eye on the one. 15 gallon, I think, almost five feet high and about a four foot diameter. Perfect. Goofy dog won’t even be able to get his mouth around it.
The nice people load it into the pickup, all three of them, and I drive off thinking “gee, that must be heavy, taking three of them and all”.
I back into the driveway, get out, walk around to the bed, drop the tailgate.
And I look at this thing.
It presents a bit of a logistical challenge, but I’m up to it, cause I have the Wheel(TM).
The location is an issue though, a raised bed, inside a 3 foot high retaining wall. This may require some lifting.
So I start digging this hole. A big, deep hole. Deep enough for one human body or two good sized beagles. A manly hole. A beeg, gaping wound in Gaia. And Gaia struck back. I grab the bottom of the palm, and pull it toward me, and a frond slices a 3 inch cut in my cheek. Just like that. Didn’t even see it coming.
And now it’s tasted blood. And it likes it.
I drag – pull – push – heave this thing into the back next to the retaining wall, and somehow manage to push it up on the edge of the rock wall. I have a plan. I will set it on its side, slice open the container, roll it out and into the hole where it will right itself and drop cleanly into place.
This is brilliant. Like judo, I will use my opponent’s weight and strength against him. I cut open the container, brace myself by placing my left foot against the inside of the hole. I grab the trunk of the palm and pull it toward myself. But I didn’t see the serrations on the trunk where I grabbed it and they cut into my palm. I let go and try to sit up, but the palm is having none of that, and keeps falling. Then I lose my balance, and I tip backward as the palm is now rolling toward me, gravity doing its job. I fall into the hole ass-first and the plant rolls in on top of me, and I don’t even notice where another edge cut my arm and it’s now bleeding faster than my hand.
I think to myself, “Great. Now all I have to do is wait for someone to come put the dirt on top of me and I can die”. I’m sitting in a hole, with 80 pounds of fern and dirt parked on top of me, making mud out of dirt and blood.
Somehow I manage to get out from under this thing and get it planted where it belongs.
Next weekend’s project involved power tools.
For Dave, every day is a good day to get dirty. wink wink.