Aug 16, 2015

Tomato-snatchin' Swine-Deer

This post has been two weeks in the writing... not that I've sat at the computer for 2 weeks, but the incident that perpetuated this post happened two weeks ago today.

I've learned a wonderful truth... if I keep moving DAILY I don't hurt as much. I used to *take Sunday off* from taking my walk but soon realized that those are the days that I REALLY hurt. Welp, I love walking enough that adding a 7th walk each week is, frankly, a delight.

So, Sunday a fortnight ago, Harley and I were just returning from our evening stroll. As I rounded the corner into my backyard movement in the tomato patch caught my eye. I caught two 4-legged thieves in the act of pilfering my prized tomatoes. (I'd noticed a partially eaten tomato a couple of day before and thought, stupidly, that it was the birds!) THEY were surprised at my untimely return and bolted, not towards me and out of harm's way, into the backyard... from which there is no escape! (Dun! Dun! Dun!)

I brandished my dog-deterring, fly swatter, sans the swat, and challenged, "And now what are you going to do?!" They stared mutely back. I loosed my fierce hound-companion on them. They quickly sized up the situation and decided that this Grammie looked less intimidating than said fierce hound and bolted past me and sailed crazily over the newly erected fence and existing hedge meant to keep THEM out and ran home to their mommy.

I waved my swatter-less swat again and hollered, "And don't come back!"

I suppose that it was too much to hope that they would actually leave my open tomato patch alone, even though they've never ventured there before. This meant, you guessed it, more fence building.

My original plans from nearly two years ago had included this section that closes off the raised garden from the side parking area but I had hoped that I was really finished with the fence. No such luck.

I got another section of hog-panel and made a temporary fence whilst I build the new, TALLER section.

The first order of the business was posts. I measured and the center post, at 8 feet, landed right behind the beautiful boxwood bush on the left (pictured below).

WELL, THAT WASN'T GOING TO HAPPEN! I've nursed these babies for 10 year and they were finally filling the measure of their creation.

Plan change! I trussed up Bush 2 and Bush 3 like a couple of big fat Christmas turkeys and dug the center post hole between them.

The weather has heated up (it is summer, ya'know!) so I didn't work as fast this time. I took 3 days to put in 3 posts. That used up most of week 1.

Then a wonderful thing happened. I got a surprise visit from my niece, Jill, and her family. They've never been here before and wanted the 10 cent tour. When I showed them the partially constructed fence Doug, her husband, suggested that I carry the picket area at the same level as the first section of fence and then go taller from there, keeping a more cohesive look. I loved that idea!!

Saturday I completed the second gate that leads into the raised garden all by myself (remember I had a great teacher). But when it came time to hang it I called son-Kevin to the rescue me again. He brought Chloe and Ethan and they had a wonderful time climbing Grammie's new fence and finding *hidey-holes* under the grape vines.

Monday and Tuesday this last week I finished the fence off. I'm so pleased with how it turned out. The other thing that is an unexpected bonus is that, since I am slow, the new wood is taking on a wonderful patina in the elements. I like it so well that I'm not going to stain it, but seal it in a couple of weeks when all of the new wood is burnished red.

Gordon points out that the deer can still jump over the lower fence into the backyard and then into the garden. I just hope that the swine-deer don't figure that out before I get something tall planted along the inside of the backyard fence.

Keep it on the down-low for me, OK??

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