Sunday, February 1, 2009

Weekend of pain

These are the three trees we worked on this weekend (one is partially blocked by the ladder). The middle one is now about 1/3 it's size and the right one is even smaller. The left one still needs more work done. In the foreground, there are two small trees that both produce delicious apples that we prunned last weekend.

I'm sitting here, on the couch, making typing errors and periodically moaning in pain. It's been one hell of a weekend!

On Saturday, we tackled the pruning again. We have three trees in the far back yard that don't look like they've ever been pruned. Two are apple trees, one is a plum of some sort. None of them produced anything edible last year, so we hope that pruning will help. Additionally, two of the three trees are in close proximity to where we plan to erect the greenhouse, so cutting them back some is critical. The last thing we need is a big branch to break off and fall through the polycarbonate roof! All three of these trees are about 30-40 ft tall. We had only hand tools to take them down to a more manageable size. My H spent most of the day on a ladder or climbing through the trees with a saw in hand. I was on the ground with a long rope, ready to assist by pulling branches down or out of his way. I was also in charge of using the big clippers to cut all downed branches into manageable lengths. Near the end of the day, my H made a trip to a local discount store and purchased an electric chain saw. That made a HUGE difference and we were able to make a good dent in the clean up. We cut down so many branches that we easily had more wood on the ground than was left remaining in the trees! By Saturday evening, my wrists, my back and my shoulders were screaming in pain.

Sunday, we had plans to go for a bike ride in the morning. The weather cooperated, so we headed out around 11:30 am after doing some morning chores. I planned out a short 20 mile loop that kept us off the main roads (we rode those last weekend and the grit/gravel remaining from the December snow storms made it rough going). Unfortunately, I don't know the roads in this area all that well, so I wasn't 100% sure what types of roads we were going to be riding. Turns out, not good ones! About half our route was on dirt/gravel roads and about 1/2 of that was some serious climbing! Oops. After 4 miles of slogging up very muddy, dirt roads that probably had an average incline of about 7%, we were totally spent. We'd picked a 20 mile route because we are out of shape...a tough climb was more than we bargained for...though we did get some nice views for our effort. And the descent was paved (thank goodness - I am terrified of descents in mud!) and probably would have been fun had it been a little warmer. 40 degrees is too cold when you aren't actively pedaling!

Anyway, tonight my legs are joining my wrists, shoulders and back in the pain department. I'm glad we got so much done on those trees (we still have more to do) and I'm glad we rode - but I'm looking forward to starting the work week so that I can recover!

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