Friday, April 25, 2008

I have pokey sticks. Do you have pokey sticks?

These skewer-like objects were in the far back corner of backyard. I like how they're arranged so... jauntily.

With this last week of actual spring weather, our backyard is at last alive. Let's give a warm welcome to the very first flowers brave enough to open:

I feel like they should get an award or something.

A few days later, the small tulip patch revealed itself to be...

...happily yellow!

The magnolia tree is flowering nicely, and should be in its full glory of pinkness in a couple days:

I don't care if the blooms go away in a week, I love it.

My mother-in-law has identified the two types of bushes along the sides of the yard. There is forsythia down both sides, and what she assures me are lilacs along the left, closest to the house. The forsythia is mostly open and it's pretty, I suppose, but I haven't completely decided if I like it or not.

The lilacs could be a problem. I'm one of those weird people who strongly dislike the smell of lilacs. I think this is because from age 7 to 13, I had to catch the schoolbus at Oh-My-God-O'Clock from the end of my neighbour's driveway in the shadow - and smell - of their untamable lilac bush (which is still there over 25 years later, I kid you not. Even my Dad's backhoe couldn't kill it. The thing is a beast). I personally relocated our bus stop two driveways up the road in my teens because of that thing. Lilacs remind me of early morning ickiness, long bus rides on bumpy roads during which I always became motion-sick, and having to constantly duck flying insects. The smell still makes me mildly queasy and I sneeze a lot.

Lilacs getting ready to bloom, with magnolia in the background. That bright yellow sticking out over there is one of the forsythia bushes.

However, we're leaving everything in place this year so that we can see what all is here before passing judgement. It's all lived here longer than we have, after all. If we decide to dig anything out eventually, I have people who will take them.

There are also still some unknowns. For instance, I'm not certain about the identity of the tree along the right back fence. It needs pruning and is beginning to do battle with the magnolia:

Any ideas?

There is also a small patch of daffodils and a couple other probably-flower things I'm not sure about. I'm about half done with the raking after several hours last weekend. The yard was covered by at least one season's layer of leaves and pine cones, among other things:

Evidence of a neighbourhood cat. I've already seen one, wonder if that's who got this bird?

I've also dug out five lengths of old copper pipe, a piece of siding, quite a bit of plastic and a rawhide dog bone. There are a lot of rocks, including what looks like an attempt at a stone pathway that is partly buried and partly removed. The previous owners' dog also liked to dig holes. There is little to no grass.

But there are pokey sticks. Daniel says if someone breaks into our backyard, we can at least poke them with pointy, rusted pieces of metal. Maybe I'll arrange them around the indigo vat, which I plan to store in the back corner of the yard, as far away from civilization as possible.

Overall, I think this yard thing is going to be fun.

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