Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Slimming down the Mail Box

Along with the constant mowing of my lawn, I have pointed out time and time again how things grow so freakingly fast here in The South. Bushes seem to appear almost overnight and trees reach down branches to snag my nifty 'Turf War Pith Helmet' on each pass with the mower.

This last weekend, I mowed the lawn. Ok, so I actually FINISHED mowing the lawn, having mowed the front yard the week before and felt I had to get the back done this week along with the front. If I left the back go much longer, I'm pretty sure I'd be setting up safari's into the deep back corner, where light rarely shines.

Then I noticed the mail box. Yeah, that's it in the pic above. Cute, huh? Sort of like a free form topiary Cousin Itt. (Yes, I know a lot of people won't catch that reference, so let's just chalk it up to my referencing my age once again and move on, yes?)

12-15 years ago, my lovely daughter planted a little flower at the base of the mailbox. Every year it gets bigger and bigger. Turns out it was some sort of vine and with the moisture we get, it grows incredibly fast - what you see above is one year's growth. Yes. One year. The problem is that the thing has flowers on it and they attract bees and wasps. The mailman gets upset; I get upset and then the wife gets upset. And with all that upset, well, Cousin Itt's days are always numbered.

So, once a year I cut back the big fluffy thing with the big string trimmer. It doesn't take much, as it's mostly holding itself up. I use the big string trimmer to cut a big swath down the back and then fold it back, like some sort of botanical autopsy. A few hacks with a big buck knife and it's loose. I then roll the whole mess into the wheelbarrow, and over into the brush pile it goes!
The pictures show it all. My back is screaming in protest and my clothes are soaked in sweat (gotta love the hot humidity of the south...if I keep saying that maybe I'll believe it someday...) And to think that this thing grows this much in just one year!

So, there's my mailbox, all slim and trim and ready for the rest of the hot humid summer.Yes, for those who notice these things (brother Bubba always reads this blog) the numbers are blacked out. I am nothing if not security conscious.

Now, there are two bushes and a tree which have grown up out of seeming nowhere, which I need to add to the brush pile. With all this heat, however, it may have to wait until the fall. Or at least until my back feels a bit better.

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