Sunday, November 05, 2017

A Mania For Raking Leaves, and Thinking About Challenging the White Whale

Sorry for the light posting. I've been busy. Raking, trimming, and going up and down ladders.

For the last several years, all around the property, I've eased off on trimming tree branches, hedges, rose bushes, and the like. The reason was that I feared killing the plants in the most-brutal California drought in 1,200 years. Last year, we had nearly-normal rainfall (91%), so I tried getting more aggressive, but then fell off a 12-foot fiberglass folding ladder - at one point, I was holding on a Fiskars cutter while dangling from a tree limb before falling onto the fallen ladder and a bunch of lethal agaves. Amazingly, I was virtually-unhurt, but I got ladder-shy, so I laid off on the trimming for the rest of the year. Poor ladder - it was twisted, damaged, and almost ruined.

This year, I untwisted the ladder, and set it up again. It's wonky, twistable, but serviceable. Still, I have to be careful, and make sure the ladder is on a completely-stable surface before climbing.

The tree and hedge canopies are damned mangy, so there's lots to do. Plus, I can't endure the thought of uncollected leaves piling up, and many leaves are falling. I "borrow" my neighbor's garden refuse bins in order to deal with the mania. Damn it, I just heard another leaf fall.

Once concern, for years now, has been the big tree branch growing over the house. I couldn't quite reach it as it grew, and it grew and grew. I agonized as it added weight. The whole tree is leaning towards the house, and it weighs ten bajillion pounds.

Now, however, the tree branch is bending with the weight to the point I can reach it, but if I cut it where I can reach it, a ridiculous amount of weight will fall directly onto the house. So, I want to slowly dismantle the hard-to-reach outer branches first, but without unnecessarily endangering my safety on the tall, perilously-pitched roof. What can possibly go wrong? This is my "white whale." Do I have the balls for this? Or do I puss out and call a professional?

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