Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Back in the day, Carl and I owned a pair of Yamaha motorcycles; a 750cc for him and a 650cc for me.  (We got rid of the bikes just before Joel was born, call it Common Sense.)  I enjoyed my days as a wannabe biker chick and have always renewed my motorcycle license in case sometime in the future we are bit by the bug to ride again.

Speaking of bugs, there are plenty of them when you ride motorcycle.  You get them all over your helmet's face-shield (or if you are a true daredevil and prefer to ride sans a 'brain bucket'  the old joke holds true, "How can you spot a happy biker?  Look for the bugs in his teeth."   They hit you in the hands and arms (and your bare legs too, if you are brave or stupid enough to ride wearing shorts)  and Carl has been stung more than once by a bee blown down his shirt. 

The one thing which amazed me the most when I first started riding motorcycle was the sheer force of the wind.  When I was a kid, I used to stick my arm out of the car window on hot summer days and enjoyed it quite a bit. However,  I wasn't prepared for the onslaught of wind associated with speeds of 55mph (and, I'll admit to a 'few' times, over 100mph---remember I said we gained Common Sense just before Joel was born?)  Add to that, meeting a semitractor/trailer on a windy stretch of highway, and well......for those of you who have never ridden motorcycle, have you ever seen the hood of your car move a bit when you meet a big truck?  Now picture the same scenario seated on a motorcycle with no fairing (motorcycle windshield) and hold on to your helmet, Nellie!  What a blast....literally!

I can remember being so bone-chillingly cold one windy May night after a 50 mile ride home from Hortonville  that we hopped into our car and drove around with the heater on full-blast for over an hour before we thawed out. After a long motorcycle ride I was always very tired; I kind of think it's because the wind forces you to breathe very deeply.  Or maybe shallowly?  I don't know which, but it's the same result, I felt winded.

All of this retro-rambling is leading me up to today.  I feel like I've been riding motorcycle for a week!  The wind most of the day was unrelenting, forcing you to breathe (or taking your breath away).  We need a wind-block to the west, I can see that, especially since we removed the big blue spruce last fall.  The house and garage take a real beating, not to mention the plantings.  We staked all of the new trees, thank goodness, or they would have been tipped over for sure.

But back to my bugs topic, the only good thing about today's wind is at least we didn't have to deal with the tiny gnats or no-see-ums or May flies, or as I call them, the Nasty No Good Blood-Sucking Vampires With Wings that leave itchy, painful welts for weeks after they bite.  Darn, I hate those bugs!   They cannot withstand the gale force winds either, good riddance.

Carl surprised me by coming home at 11AM again today, and we accomplished quite a bit.  First we moved a few rocks on the east quarry berm and then transplanted a 4' tall Horstmann's Silberlocke (Korean Fir) from the bed by the willow tree out front to it's new home on the berm.  I hope the tree survives, though it is in a semi-sheltered site now which should be fine.

Our main goal was to take down the two big spruce trees on the east side of the driveway, but with the crazy wind hammering us all day, even with a cable hooked up to the tractor for safety, we didn't feel it was a good idea.  We don't need an impromptu opening in the shop on that side, or a missing wall on the greenhouse either.  There will be another day.

 North view

We did saw a 20' cherry tree down today though.  This tree was located in our hosta 'boulder' garden behind the shop.  We had planted it there several years before but I wasn't thrilled with the thing.  Down it came, but not without a bit of drama, lol.  Carl said the wind twisted it in two directions right after he made the final cut (and there was no cable attached, so it sort of swayed and then finally, fell the way he wanted it to in the first place. 

After we cleaned up the brush, we moved the Blue Beech or muscle wood tree (in the photo above it is the tree closest to the building) to the area just vacated by the cherry.  I worked on weeding all afternoon in between helping with the tree removal and planting.
 View from south

We also finished building the new tufa wall over by the road that we had lying on pallets since last fall.  It looks much nicer now (I will take a pic tomorrow.)

We finally got in the house about 8PM and I had to throw a big meal together because I forgot to toss something in the slow cooker.  I hate when that happens.

What a day, and I understand that the weather has another trick up her sleeve for the weekend, Possible Snow!! 

I'm having a hard time staying awake, so before I fall off my chair, I will bid you a good night.

Like I said, I'm winded.


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