Monday, April 2, 2007

Spring Cleanup, Santa Cruz Mountains Style

Winter seems to have wafted its way off somewhere else, so it's time for spring cleanup here at the Fort. I certainly don't expect any sympathy for the chores -- especially from anybody whose yard looks like this as winter recedes -- but, hey, one of the reasons blogs exist is to whine about one's horrid place in life. Or so I'm told.

Above: redwood leaves and twigs are surprisingly tiny. Their numbers for any one gigantic tree, though, are ENORMOUS. So, if you've got nine mature specimens of sequoia sempervirens on half an acre (as we do here in the Fort), then spring leaves a gi-gundous amount of crap on the ground. Here, I've raked about 1/10 of them onto a plastic tarp so I could drag them easily (more or less) to the "staging area" by the back gate.

Actually, I was kind of hoping -- fantasizing, really -- that maybe I could hook Kelsey up by a harness to the tarp and have him drag it to the staging area... but he was busy guarding us all against rogue argon atoms hiding 'midst the nitrogen and oxygen. Or something like that.

A new discovery every spring is this patio (above). It's in the center of a ring of second-growth redwoods, and marks roughly the footprint of a many-centuries-old tree that was harvested about a hundred years ago. Coastal redwoods' roots shoot up "suckers", though, and this old one left a bevy of five suckers that are now mature. They drop gobs of stuff onto this patio every winter, and every spring we shovel it out to reclaim the area.

(The chicken in the above picture is "Specks," a remarkable chicken, sure to be the topic of a future post. She follows me everywhere I go in the yard, commenting and inspecting, and generally violating all of my pre-conceived notions about what chickens are supposed to be like.)

Above: the largest of the second-growth "sucker" trees around our rewood patio. I don't know how tall it is; maybe somebody with a protractor can figure it out.

Above: The view straight up from the center of our redwood patio.

Jax and Kesley inspect the yardwork, April 2nd, 2007.

All photos in this post by S. Harrington, 2 April 2007


Brian Fies said...

Ha ha. Always with the damn protractor.

Terrific posts, every one. I don't always have a comment but I appreciate 'em all. Next racs party is at Fort Harrington.

ronnie said...

Jaw-dropping photos, as usual. And I totally want to hear about Specks.

Next racs party at Fort Harrington? HA! Easy for you Californians to collude and be so cavalier! Spare a moment of pity for the likes of myself and the Deacon, with our bums up here hanging out over the North Atlantic!

(Maybe we could do some kind of fundraiser to cover costs. A calendar maybe: The Men of RACS. Huh? Huh?)


Sherwood Harrington said...

For those of you with butts hanging out over the North Atlantic -- wouldn't it be cool to have a racs gathering at Birr Castle? As much acreage as Disneyland, and in a not-overly-subscribed area of Ireland...

You know, that's almost not completely idiotic, especially given sufficient lead time. I'm probably going to be there in May, 2009, so...

And, ronnie, SHAME! SHAME SHAME SHAME! Not to mention ICK GAG ME WITH FLATWARE! You want we should start with Peter Steiger without a bathrobe?? "The Men of RACS," indeed.