atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#6275: Whew!

So, I cut the grass.

Put a new fixture on the post light to replace the one that broke last winter. This one is metal, not plastic, so it won't break as easily. I dropped one of the setscrews for the top, and it disappeared into the foliage; worse yet, it's brass, so it's not even remotely magnetic. I searched for it in the failing light but could not find it.

Substituted a screw I had on hand. It's not visible unless you get very close, anyway. Looks fantastic, too, esp. with the fancy Edison-style LED bulb in it, the kind with the linear LED strands that look like incandescent filaments.

Then I worked on hacking back some of the foliage. F-ing sumac trees--they are worse than weeds. That little chore was cut short by the chain saw throwing its chain, but I hacked off the biggest ones and put RoundUp on the stumps. Here's hoping that'll kill the bitches. There are plenty more to be rid of.

Then I trimmed back the foliage on the north side of the driveway, and added it to the pile of cuttings by the foot of the driveway. The front yard still looks like a jungle and you can't really tell I did anything, either.

Leveled out the sand under the pool and set it to filling again. Right now it's maybe 70% full. The water is rusty so I've started the pump, and $5 says that filter will be clogged with it tomorrow morning, so I'll plan on rinsing it clean before going to work. Shock went in when I started filling so there will be lots of rust precipitating out.

Want a better filter system. You can buy them separately, and they're not even all that expensive--and the filters for them are more common--but that'll have to wait.

Lastly, I'm considering getting some kind of mosquito abatement device. You can actually build one with a fan, some fine mesh netting, and some kind of attractant; the mosquitos get drawn in by the attractant, the moving air keeps them sucked to the mesh, and they dehydrate to death. It's that, a bug light, or fogging. Bug light is easy. Fogging costs a bit (for the fogger and pesticide). Building a trap--well, that both costs a bit and is more work.

But I need something. The local mosquito abatement people have fogged once this year and with all the rain we got--well, while I was mowing the grass, there were clouds of mosquitos coming out of the grass.

If someone offered me a button that would kill every mosquito in the world, I'd press it without hesitation.

My plans for the front yard are 90% effort and 10% materials:

1) Prune and/or remove foliage, depending on its desirability. The big bushes that have always been there need pruning badly, but there's a bunch of other stuff that can simply go. And I want to be rid of all the grape vines, blackberry canes, sumac trees, and so forth.

2) Since the house was built, there has been nothing under those bushes. I'm thinking about perhaps using a rototiller, then edging, laying down weed barrier, and putting in mulch or gravel. Same for the area where the tulips grow.

3) Rebuild the fence.

4) Do something about the flower bed on the north side of the driveway. 90% of the foliage in it can simply be clear-cut out. I want to be rid of the tree on the northwest corner, by the garage, but that'll take a pro. There is one bush and two plants in that entire bed I want to keep; the rest is nothing but weeds. I'm even thinking about removing the damned landscaping entirely--pull out the flagstones and transplant the plants I want and re-grade it, then put down grass seed. But instead I'll probably clear it out, plant a couple bushes, re-stack the flagstones, and then put down weed barrier and mulch or gravel just like the other side.

5) Sealcoat the driveway.

That's the front. The back yard:

1) clear out the flower bed by the garage and do something with it. Either make it a garden again, or bushes/barrier/mulch.

2) Get rid of the trees on the SE corner of the patio, prune the bushes, and clear out the undesirable foliage (mulberry bush, this time). Barrier/mulch/etc.

3) Get rid of the dead birch tree.

4) Whack back the huuuuuuuudge.

The "huuuuuuuuuuudge" is a forsythia bush which has grown beyond all reason. There is now an empty space inside it, that's how big it is. I like the sight barrier it provides, but it's getting to be too big. But I'm not going to sit on the ground and snip, snip, snip at the damn thing. I want some kind of implement which will hack it back wholesale. What I'd like to do is to hollow it out, so there's a secluded area, perhaps with the original growth left in the center. But that's probably impossible.

Mrs. Fungus wants a privacy fence, so the huuuuudge is probably redundant anyway.

5) Power wash the house.

And lastly, the outdoor improvements will culminate with rebuilding the cupola over the garage and re-installing the weathervane. I'm thinking of putting copper cladding on it (the original roof for the cupola is clad in tin, painted black) because the copper will eventually develop a nice patina.

When I contemplate all this, it makes my stomach hurt and I want to hide. But if I take it in little chunks it'll be manageable. And I did the very first little chunk this evening. Whee!
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