Well, besides working on the house, of course.
First, there's this:
That's (under the branches – that pale thing) a small tree stump. The tree stump from our cherry tree.
See the slender tree near Alex in the picture (from March) below?
We've been talking about removing it for a while now. It bears fruit, but we've never gotten more than a pie's worth in any year, and in the past two years the branches, some of them, have been just…dying. Apparently fruit trees around here really need to be sprayed in order to survive all the fruit tree loving pests in the area, and we just weren't all that enamored of spraying toxic chemicals on one tree (thus poluting our otherwise organic vegetables and fruits in the vicinity) just to have some cherries. And sour cherries at that. So this year we figured we'd let it bear fruit, let the kids and the birds eat what they could, and then we'd chop it down.
I say we, but you know how men are about their toys. I held the camera instead. And Alex learned how to use a hatchet.
So, you know, if he's ever lost in the wilderness and has a hatchet, he'll be able to chop down a cherry tree. We're all about important survival skills here.
Anyway, the tree is down now, and the yard looks HUGE now. There's a great big space now, and the possibilities include…more raised beds (very likely), a chicken coop (Bill just ignores me when I say this, oh well)…well, those are pretty much the possibilities. And, given Bill's selective deafness about poultry that he's not allowed to EAT, I'm figuring we'll fit in more gardens.
Which is perfectly fine. I'm actually happy about that. We're thinking of maybe a 4' x 4' strawberry bed. Our strawberries are much more successful than the cherries ever were, so it would be nice to have more of them. Right now the majority of the plants are in a recycle bin, with one straggler that made it to the squash garden before the assorted squash and cucumbers took over. The strawberry is still in there, just riding out the rest of the season.
Anyway, here's the view now:
So, let's see, that was Friday night that the tree came down. On Saturday, some of the wood was used to smoke a brisket. No waste here! We'll let the leaves die and dry out, and those will go into the compost. The rest of the wood will be used in the smoker or the grill.
And the yard really looks a lot bigger now.