Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Ivy Project

As often happens with my projects, Johnny took over the ivy eradication I had begun (see "Strange Happenings"). While I figured I had the next year to slowly get rid of the ivy that was, hopefully, dying now that I had cut it off from it's roots, Johnny had other ideas. While I was gone for the weekend, he took charge and cut it loose from the top of his shop... most of the way. I do not know how close he came to having the loosened ivy knock his ladder over with him on it, but I do know he waited to finish the job until I came home and could hold the ladder. This is what it looked like when I arrived home.

With me standing on and leaning against the ladder, Johnny cut the last of the ivy loose... and the cascading vines tangled with fish netting nearly knocked the ladder backwards in spite of our combined weights. So I suspect Johnny had come close to disaster while I was away.

There was still the ivy on the inside of the shop to deal with. Johnny cut it down.

Getting the ivy loose from the shop was only part of the problem. What to do with those huge mounds of ivy? The loose pieces went into plastic feed sacks... many, many plastic feed sacks. With ropes and chains and a tractor, we rolled the connected masses into as manageable heaps as we could, then Johnny thumped on them with the bucket of the tractor to mash them down and dragged them with the tractor to the orchard into a pile on and under plastic tarps in hopes of keeping it from rooting until dry enough to burn.

Johnny then spent many back-breaking hours digging out the roots that were left, smoothing the surface and grading the driveway. Chances are there are roots that will survive to sprout again, but my goats will be happy with a few ivy treats now and then. I will be diligent in keeping the ivy pulled out as I don't want either of us going through another ordeal like this one.

And so the shop is back to having a bare and ugly yellow metal side, decorated only with a few dying pieces of ivy that escaped, green slime, ivy root hairs... and the birdhouse boots nailed up there many years before the ivy was planted. Maybe Chestnut-backed Chickadees will nest again in the boots, as they did before the ivy completed covered them.

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