On Sweetgums and Fence Repair

on Sunday, August, 14 2011 @ 11:29:53 pm (679 words)
In General [ 2821 views ]

Sweetgum Capsules

The weather here has been brutal with temperatures in the upper 30s (upper 90s F) and supposedly as high as 40C (104F). To add insult to injury the humidity has been high as well and you would become wet from your sweat even standing in the shade. If the high heat and humidity were not bad enough, we have also been without rain until this Friday.

I ventured down to the little valley earlier in the week to check on the green beans and black-eyed peas. I found the little valley exceeding dry; however, it was also overgrown by the weeds that can thrive in the absent of water. It has not been that many years ago the little valley would never completely dry out and the lower side would stay so wet we were not able to plant there at all. I had intended to chop the weeds that were overtaking the garden; the reason for my trip in the first place. Unfortunately, I had to abandon that job.

As I looked over the garden I noticed that a sweetgum tree had fallen across the fence. Sweetgum trees produce numerous seed capsules. Furthermore, the grain of the wood is very straight and very easy to break. While we had not had any storms, we must have had strong enough winds to break off the top-heavy sweetgum. As I surveyed the damage to my fence I could not but wonder at my bit of bad luck; the tree could just as easily fallen the other direction away from the fence.

I returned to the house to replace the hoe with a handsaw; my chainsaw is still in need of repairs. I returned to the little valley and began removing the limbs from the trunk of the sweetgum. As I sawed the limbs the seeds from the seed capsules rained down upon me, sticking to my bare arms and clothing. It was a good thing that I was wearing my wide-brim straw hat as my hair would have been covered in sweetgum seeds. After I removed the limbs, I was able to saw the trunk into two sections, the last section being at the fence where I could leave the largest and heaviest section of the trunk on the other side of the fence where it had fallen. I piled the limbs up out of the way in the garden and will remove them later this fall.

With the sweetgum out of the way, I turned my attention to the fence. The wires were still intact but several of the insulators had been pulled out and a few were broken; not just at where the tree had fallen but further away as well. Once more I returned to the house to gather my hammer, some nails, and a couple of extra insulators I happened to have on hand. Fixing the fence was an easy job and it did not take long to make the repairs. As I was working on the fence, it suddenly started to rain. I burst out laughing I was so glad to see some rain. I knew it was going to be short lived; and it was, but it was so delightful and felt so wonderful on my skin.

The next day I returned with hoe in hand to take care of the weeds. I could not believe how dry the little valley had become under the relentless hot days. The green beans and black-eyed peas looked so stressed from the heat that I was doubtful they would recover if we did get some rain. Furthermore, my sweet potatoes had not produced the thick canopy of vines and the vines are needed to feed the tubers. The pumpkins and butternut were doing much better.

We finally got some rain on Friday and more today but it is far from enough; it will be short lived if we do not get some more rain to go along with it. The drought here has been so severe that I am seeing huge oaks with dying limbs.

1 comment

Comment from: Augie Doggy [Visitor]
Augie Doggy*does a little rain dance*
08/15/11 @ 00:22

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