First, we had to clear away some weeds that were much larger than the weeds I'm used to, strange plants with fluffy tufts that rained down on us whenever the plants were disturbed - which was often. Umm...any idea what these things are?
This is the view that the trees will enjoy (we hope) when they are grown. Nice, huh?
Even Bird got in on the action. Note the height of this weed - it could take Bird down in a heartbeat of it was feelin' feisty.
While Mum went back to the house for a shovel (we had our hands full of trees and cages on the way down and couldn't manage the shovel, too)(also, better her than me - it's a haul from the house to the pond, and it's only downhill one way - to the pond from the house)(bless her, she brought water back, too...it was hot and sticky work), Bird and I decided that I should pull the giant, white-puff flinging weeds and he would haul them to the randomly placed pile of displaced vegetation. I am still picking seed-fluff things out of my hair.
Bird chose a tree to plant, and Mum got to diggin'.
Dig, Mum, dig!! Good thing we're near a pond - it's been dry enough that the clay soil we enjoy (enjoy being a euphemism for "can't get out of our clothes or from under our nails and it stains everything and not much will grow in it but weeds") can bake hard and be nearly impossible to dig into without copious amounts of explosives.
Bird planted the tree and told it "Grow, little tree, grow."
Mum caged the tree - these curly willows are wild, I tell ya!! OK, really, the cage is so the deer don't eat the poor helpless tree before it can grow into a whomping willow and have a fighting chance against those vicious herbivores.
Eat your heart out, Mike Rowe. I'd like to pause a moment here, to mention that my family is pretty wonderful about my penchant for photographing their odd behavior and posting it on the Internet. Mum even struck this pose twice so I could be certain had the shot - and she knew I would be putting it here! When I said "That is so going on the blog!" she just laughed. Her hands got that way from carefully crumbling the clay over the planting soil - it may be sticky and hard to get off one's hands, but it's also brilliant stuff for holding in moisture.
Meanwhile, Bird and T had to go fetch more line for the weed-eater - there are some gnarly things growing on that dam, in among the grass, and they were tearing up the nylon line on the trimmer. Halfway across the dam, they found a turtle sunning itself in the recently shortened grass. They felt compelled to "rescue" it from it's happy, sunny afternoon - mostly, I suspect, because boys and turtles go hand in hand, and T figured it would be better to move the poor critter so Bird wouldn't keep tormenting it with his sweet curiosity and endless chatter. That pulling back into the shell thing? It isn't afraid - it's trying to shut out the verbal assault! Those are T's hands, by the way. Mine are bigger but less hairy.
Bird was tickled to set his hapless new friend by the pond, and even more tickled when it dove into the water with a plop and swam away, trail marked by tiny bubbles popping along the surface.
T couldn't get the weed-eater to start after refueling, so Bird had to help. Mum and I finished planting the trees along the pond.
I shot this while standing halfway up the stairs to the trail. Those grey pillars at the far shore? The caged trees. Those two white-shirted forms on the left at the far-end of the dam? Mum and T. You wouldn't see them if T hadn't cleared the dam - those weeds were tall!
Later this week, I'll post some more pictures from our Sunday at Mum's - the path from house to pond is lined with all kinds of delightful things, and there's some terrific stuff growing in those woods. Also, I will explain the fifty-pound chocolate rabbit from a prior entry (and that may be one of my shortest entries ever!).