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Saturday, 22 December 2018


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Maybe your neighbour thinks you like to keep to yourself as well? How about walking on over and saying hi. I realize that can be dangerous in the US but if there is no signs warning you off, hey you might make a new friend.

Glad to see you out making photographs rather than just talking about them. Thanks for sharing.


Neighbors can be funny (as in weird, not ha-ha.)

Many years ago, in a neighborhood far, far away, I was shocked -- shocked! -- when I bumped into our next-door neighbors while I was out and about running errands and saw they had two young kids in tow.

We'd lived next to them for more than three years and until that moment, I had no idea! And when I say next door, I don't mean the back 40, either.

In another neighborhood, I joked that if I ran over somebody in the cul-de-sac in front of our house, I wouldn't know which door to knock on so they could claim the body.

In my current neighborhood, more than half of the homeowners are winter visitors (aka "snowbirds," as they migrate south each winter) and live in their houses for only a few months each year, so I don't know very many of them, either.

On the other hand, I swear my dog knows every dog living in the neighborhood. Yet each time they meet, she acts as if it has been years since the last time, so happy is she to see them again...

If you have a fairly level path away from your sycamores, just move a distance from one of them until you can make a 45 degree angle with your arm to the top of the tree. Then the distance from you to the tree will be the same as the height of the tree and you can just walk toward the tree and count your steps/stride.

Thanks for all your hard work writing TOP.

Mike...you should know right now...there's no getting around the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics! ;-)

Happy Merry.

Arguably mulching the leaves is increasing entropy not reducing it.
Now if you were to rank them by color and place them all facing up with their stems pointing south, I think that would be an undeniable reduction in entropy.

Glad you got the Camera, roll with the weather it is Upstate NY. If you want take photos of Deer go to Seneca Army depot take tour and photo the white Deere!

On your mulching. Two things really help the soil next season. Run the mower over the leaves twice, if you can. Makes a difference also if your blade is sharp.
Second, when it snows go over the area and spread fertilizer on it. I do it Thanksgiving, New Year and Valentines day - when I have snow to work with. Pays big dividends next growing season as the winter fertilizer soaks in with the melting snows, no hot spots and the yard and plants look great much later in the season than you would expect.

I use to live in New England. Neighbor across the street would not as much as make eye contact.
After about 4 years he nodded 'hello' and soon after we spoke. Ultimately it became quite friendly.
Turns out he didn't like the previous owner and wanted to be sure we weren't like that fellow.

I cannot believe it has been three years since you moved there! And btw, I have the same mower. It replaced an earlier model of the same brand, that had gotten a bit cantankerous and money-hungry, but after almost 20 years of good service.

About 19+ years ago we moved from a typical SE PA suburban development, where we knew many of our neighbors, to our current rural location, adjacent to a county park and land preserve. We only know, reasonably well, the neighbor we share a driveway with, and one on the other side of our property. Our first Halloween here, we armed ourselves with the usual pile of candies for trick-or-treaters, and NOBODY showed up. A shock, after our usual 100+ headcount, but it should not have been a surprise: no sidewalks, no shoulders, no street lights.

I love your use of 'crick'. Growing up in SW PA we had one in our backyard that was a center of the neighborhood kids' lives. Move away and nobody knows what I mean. I guess it's appropriate to think an arthritis doc is talking about your neck of the body not the woods when he refers to a crick.

You remind me of the old "Crankshaft" cartoons in the newspaper with his war on leaves every year. Here in the South I have a pecan tree that drops not only its leaves and nuts but limbs, shell husks and other debris. Then there's the tallow tree with its "popcorn" seed pods filling the gutters along with the leaves. And, being the South, there's also a loathed magnolia next door that overhangs our driveway. It drops leaves year 'round. And it has those wonderful seasonal cones that dent the cars and cause us twisted ankles every season. I have to stay vigilant with broom, shovel and trash can to remove those damn magnolia cones or it's like walking on marbles to get to the car. I'm told some people actually like the fragrance of magnolias but I cannot imagine why.

My yard man often tells me that our house is surrounded by trees he would never have at his own house. Lucky us. But they do provide great shade in the summer to offer a bit of respite from the heat.

Remember Mike,
Gardening is like painting the Eiffel Tower. (Or is it the other way around?). Anyway, you’re never done.

Merry Christmas, Mike. I hope there are plenty of photo opportunities for you over the holiday season and into the New Year.

Yea Sycamore trees - ugh! I believe this is the plant Ronald Reagan was talking about when he said trees accounted for more landfill than human trash or something like that.

I once had a house in a north shore suburb of Chicago that had about 7 Sycamore trees in a pretty small lot. They drained leaves, bark and sticks relentlessly. It was almost impossible to keep the gutters clear. Required cleaning almost every week of the year.

I feel for you, but now I have a new approach, let nature pretty much be. My yard looks like a mess to all green lawn folks and many others, but my yard is a haven for birds, lizards and bugs of all types. No mowing, limited removal of dead plants, leaves, just letting nature take it's course. The way the world is actually suppose to be.

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