In a word: sucks.
Sunday night, our big summer apple tree came down. We’d noticed some issues with it several weeks ago: its angle had changed, and there was a gap in the trunk. And it did not blossom this year. I was going to find a tree guy to call, to see if it could be saved, but nobody gave me the round tuit. They weren’t great apples (summer apples never are) but they made great applesauce and stock feed, and there were a lot of them.
So now it’s cleanup time. Rusty has been trimming branches and feeding them to the goats. I got a new chain on the saw and have been having at it, an hour per evening. Wednesday night I got the weight off the septic step-up pump and the other apple tree. Last night I was sawing on the trunk, when I saw…feathers. Surviving the saw were at least 2 tiny and barely alive black and blue peeps. “Step on them,” Rusty said. I recognized the wisdom and mercy in her words, but somehow didn’t have the heart. So I left them alone. “First numb, then stupor, then the letting go.” I hoped. Three little wagonloads to the woodpile so far; when life gives you lemons, make firewood.
We’d also gotten 1 5/8″ of rain, and the only reason I can spend this time on the tree is that the garden has been too soggy to work in. My earlier plantings are doing well enough, though I haven’t been able to weed. The new corn patch is not yet tilled to my satisfaction, but it’s approaching do-or-die for corn. The push seeder won’t do it in those clods, so I might have to hand plant or poke the seeds in with a stick. I have plants waiting to go in, coles and solanums. Some of the new fruit plantings didn’t much like that last late frost, but they may recover. Blueberries and strawberries at least are happy.
A few of our old hens in moult have died, from causes unknown. It’s time to start new chicks…we want something meatier this year.