Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Spring Projects

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We are certainly giving a lot of attention to our labyrinth to have it ready for visitors on May 6th, but several other projects need timely attention. Spring growth does not wait for any of us. Raspberry canes are sprouting new leaf buds already. The red raspberry patch at the bottom of our backyard hill was munched by deer last year so Cyndie wanted to take a stab at protecting the plants in advance this year.

We wrapped up the patch after we finished installing the water pump in our landscape pond beside the back deck.

If you look closely at that image, the fenced raspberry patch is visible in the background. I made myself embarrassingly proud over a little trick I devised to successfully close the filter box for the pond pump so it was leak-tight on the very first try. The groove for the rubber gasket that seals the container is not deep enough to hold the gasket in place. The gasket needs to be stretched to fit. It’s a recipe for endless frustration. I know from experience.

Every year I have tried different techniques to get the cover on in a way that will slide the last portion of the gasket into the groove for the clamp to fit. If I’m off even an imperceptible amount: water leaks. Some years I get lucky and get it in two tries. In a bad year, maybe five tries. This year, I cut a six-inch piece of a few strands of polypropylene bale twine and wrapped it around the gasket. With the cover on and most of the gasket seated, I slide the strands of twine along, pulling the last portion of the gasket into the groove.

The cover dropped flush against the base and we tightened up the clamp. First-time success. I should have thought of this trick a long time ago. I asked Cyndie where I should store the precious bit of twine strands so that we could find them again next year. We both quickly agreed that I could toss them and simply cut new strands next time they are needed. Another good use for old bale twine.

Another thing we have been reusing over and over around our property is the webbed fence material that has at times been used to keep domestic animals contained and other times to keep wild animals out. The raspberry patch wasn’t the only spot we finished yesterday. Cyndie’s ever-expanding strawberry garden received a new border fence for a start.

When the fruit begins to appear, she will take the barrier to another level, seeking to slow down the always-interested squirrels and birds with a netting drape over the top.

I was asked to use the power trimmer to clear growth in the area of Cyndie’s vegetable garden. That little Stihl small gas engine fired up on my first try. Then it was down to the labyrinth to rake and spread wood chips.

We are full-on in spring projects mode and the progress thus far feels very rewarding. Almost as if we are actually keeping up with growing things.

As if.




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