Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dan vs. Nature

I noticed recently that a tree in my side yard has grown up against the house. In fact, some of the branches have damaged the roof, slightly, peeling away a handful of shingles. The branches also provide my nemeses, the squirrels, access to the roof and the upstairs window. So I resolved to cut back the tree.

Of course, first I made sure I had the right tools (a Leatherman with a saw blade) and a way to access the branches (climb the tree). I formulated a plan (climb tree, start hacking) and put that plan into action. I thought it was foolproof. Unfortunately, I was the fool who had to prove it.

I started to climb the tree, and the very first branch I stepped on turned out to be problematic. In the sense that it was dead, and immediately gave way. Since it was the first branch, though, my journey earthward was thankfully short. I did get some nice scrapes on my legs and hand to help me learn an important lesson. After that, I was more thorough about testing the limbs I used for support, and made it up the tree without much trouble.

Once at the top, I took some time to savor the view (Shingles!). I then discovered that the Leatherman saw is best suited for cutting branches for use roasting s'mores . My stay at the treetop was lengthier than I planned. But the limbs did get cut down.

Climbing down was... tricky. I remember flying up and down the old maple tree behind our house growing up. Now, I'm think I might be sore tomorrow from this minor chore. I'm reminded of a quote, "we are not now that strength which once moved heaven and earth."

For my future landscaping projects, I think I'll stick to mowing the lawn, mixed in with the occasional weed-whacker run.

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