Today it has mostly been dry. OK, so I'm obsessed by the weather, but when you love working outside, it's important! Jim wanted to tackle one of our meadow paths. It has become sadly overgrown and the brambles have travelled across it into the meadow proper, which is not allowed. We thought we'd better put Buster in his pen as Jim would be strimming and he's so curious he might get his nose strimmed. I duly gave him some treats, put blankets in his kennel and we headed up the meadow. He howled! We ignored him.
The path had almost disappeared and the first job was to cut back the brambles:
Above is the 'before' photo.
Buster seemed to have quietened down so we carried on fighting the brambles and loading them into Jim's tractor trailer. Jim checked on Buster and he had vanished from his pen! Houdini Buster.
After a while he heard the strimmer and found us. I was able to keep an eye on him while Jim strimmed so it worked out ok. Of course he loved the fact that we were clearing blackberries and proceeded to eat his way through far too many of them.
Sandy came to investigate, not wanting to be left out. This is the path adjacent to the scruffy one:
The idea of the meadow paths is to divide it up a bit into meadow beds. There are 3 and a half acres of meadow, so a lot to manage and although we like it natural, we are trying to encourage biodiversity and not let it become overrun by brambles and blackthorn.
You can see the difference between the 2 paths!
Here's Jim ready to start work:
Note the big thorn proof gloves!
I brought up a flask of coffee and some biscuits.
Buster decided he'd like to drive the tractor:
He didn't quite get it together though.
We cut and pulled and received many scratches and thorns, but eventually Jim was able to strim the whole of the path. It doesn't look as neat as the other ones yet, but that's because it needs mowing. After a couple of mowings, it'll look just as good.
The After photos
There was a tiny Ginkgo Biloba tree hidden among the weeds and brambles. I think we'll have to move it:
I've always called these trees Rocky Bilboas!
Jim had to make several trips down to the bonfire site with the rubbish. Off he goes:
When we'd finished the path, Jim headed back to the cottage but I decided to carry on working in that area. To the left of the path we used to be able to get through and into a covered wooded area. That had also become overgrown with brambles and blackthorn.
I had cleared some of the way through by the time I took this photo. The pole is a telegraph pole. The wires straddle our meadow.
Buster and Sandy both stayed with me until I came in at about 7.30pm. It was way past their meal time but they were happy sleeping near 'Mum'.
You can just see Sandy curled up in front of the telegraph pole!
And here's Buster curled up on my sweater! You can just see the cottage through the trees.
I have this lot to get through next
All of a sudden my body decided it had had enough. My legs went all weak and my right arm ached like mad. I have tennis elbow in that one. I gathered up the tools, called the animals and staggered down to the cottage. My right arm is really throbbing now.
A good job achieved though. Very satisfying.
Salmon steak, home grown beans, potatoes and courgettes and parsley sauce for dinner. Lovely. Plus the left over apple and blackberry crumble.
I am off to the UK to visit my daughter, DK, Rachel (leatherdyke) and Luisa from Friday until Monday. It's K's birthday on the 30th and Luisa's shortly afterwards, plus mine on the 6th Sept, so we're going to celebrate! Did I mention I'll be 60? That's a pensioner in the UK.
Just for fun, here's a photo of me aged 3. I had blond curly hair, but it went dark shortly afterwards. It's still just as curly though. The dress was made by my mother, the top had beautiful smocking. 57 years ago.