Shave And A Haircut, Two Bits

Over many years the woods across from our house (they’re part of the land we rent) have evolved into a natural jigsaw puzzle, a chaotic mix of blackberry bushes and honeysuckle and scrub oaks; the tops of firs and an impressive Ponderosa pine tower above it. For its part, the ground is a first-class tangle of grass and weed, and this season I decided to push back, to clear an area—a zone—of unnecessary vegetation and reclaim our now-overgrown view of the trees.

But I didn’t jump in pell-mell with hand- and chain saw; the woods deserved a deliberate approach. Like the barber says, I can cut it short but I can’t put it back. And so it was, that after several days of trimming dead branches and clearing brush, I noticed how lovely these woods really are.

In particular, these boughs impressed me with their graceful shapes; I worked around them, mindful of the stage they were dancing across. Not too much off the background! Leave that grass! And that moss! Until I had it just right . . .

I’ve tried to have a regular haircut, but it just pops back up again, so this is the way it’s going to be. — Rod Stewart

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We border some woods, and although I don’t want or need more property to maintain, the invasives do prevent me from seeing into the woods. I cleared some this past summer and hope to do some more, but it is something that never stops growing unless you use some nasty chemicals which will kill the good with the bad.

We had a wet-snow storm last March that broke limbs and brought down trees in the area; our damage wasn’t serious, but it did add to the natural clutter. I’m not going to work on that . . . it isn’t my responsibility . . . but I keep at some of the edges when I can. Blackberry vines are the worst; Kathy reminds me that birds nest in a section up the hill, but everything else is fair game. You’re so right saying it never stops growing, and that chemicals aren’t a viable choice (some of the blackberry’s were sprayed several times, turned brown, and a couple of years later you couldn’t see any difference: they were big and green again). Nice to hear from you again, hope your Autumn’s a good one.

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