But it's true. This month, my only days off from work will be Sundays and Thanksgiving and since I get home at dark-o-clock each night, I plan to spend those days off outside. We began yesterday by pulling all the weeds that had crept up and nestled along the foundation of the house and trimming back the hedges closest to the walls to make some space. We checked for any mouse holes (found one!), cracks in the mortar, soft spots, etc.
Don't mind the crazy colors, it's just me and my old point and shoot for a bit. My DSLR continues to be too expensive to fix.
While I was deep into the plants and shrubs, I kept an eye out for ripe rose hips. I found, literally a hand full. The majority of them are either still in bloom or green, despite us having a few frosts. This is the first time I've ever harvested them fresh and I could use some advice on drying them and using them for tea. *wink wink*
Then we wanted to take care of our trees. We went around to all of the trees, checking their roots for any damage and pulling any suckers that had landed and begun to sprout from their bases. We pruned any extraneous growth and dead branches to help our trees focus their energy on strong healthy branches. There are several trees in our yard that are a hot mess, and I feel terribly for them. Our largest bradford pear has big beautiful branches that end in harsh square stumps and oddly shaped offshoots where the previous owners cut branches up. I can only assume the tree had gotten too wide and rather than take the branch at the base, they chopped it off in the middle. Luckily, it's a forgiving tree and didn't drop any large branches on my head while I attempted to prune back the dead stuff.
I wish I could say the same for our huge birch tree. It seemed to take great pride in letting large branches that were trapped in its canopy fall on us. Normally, it's a pleasant tree it just didn't seem to take to well to sharp objects.
The fruit trees gifted me with some sturdy branches for me to turn into things, the apple gave two and the pear gave one. Our pear trees are also a bit mangled from poor attention, having grown two or three large vertical leaders, which fused with each other and several horizontal branches in such a manner that I'd actually be terrified to try to remove any of them. I can just hope that with someone keeping up with their pruning from here on out, that they will grow healthier and reward me with juicy pears.
We called it a day after that, as our backs were hurting and it was getting dark fast. I went to bed and woke up sore, but it's the sort of sore I'm happy to bear; the sort that comes from a good day's work. We've got a few more things to do around the yard before winter comes and I plan to enjoy every single bit of it. Tending my patch of earth, getting down in the dirt and taking care of its inhabitants is not only something that ties into my spiritual beliefs, but brings me great joy. To bond with our trees, to leave offerings by their roots for the spirits, fae and local squirrels, to cultivate our own patch of green space to produce food; these things are simple magic to me.
Speaking of simple magic, after work on Saturday the dude took me to a salvage lot where a man and his family take all manner of lovely old things from homes that are going to be destroyed and keeps them on his farm to sell to folks who can use and love them. Joe was there a few weeks ago and wanted to go back to get some old 2"x10" boards to use for our bar counter tops. He also just wanted me to see it, because I love old stuff. He got his boards but I won the old stuff lottery. Not only did he gift me with all the old iron nails from the boards (who but a witch gets excited about these things?) but I found two old antique six pane windows with no glass that I plan to hang on the walls, for $4 each! I'm not sure if I will put photos into either one, but I know for sure one of them is going to get draped in ivy and touched by moss and mushrooms and hung in our bedroom. As if that wasn't enough, I also found these:
Two small iron keyhole covers. I'll be using one on my grimoire in the future and the other? I'm not sure yet. But I just had to have them.
How was your weekend, lovelies?
P.S. New things are coming to the shop this week! So, feel free to stop in periodically and take a peek. :)