Today I weeded the garden by the pool.
Well, it actually wasn't the first thing I did, firstly I went around the trees that I recently planted and again hammered in the stakes holding the tree guards. Everything looks okay, with the exception of the pin oak in the far corner near the gate and it looks like it may not have survived the move.
Then I collected up the piles of cuttings and weeds that have been accumulating and had myself a small fire. How satisfying! I swear there is a pyromaniac inside us all. THEN I started weeding the bank by the pool. My goodness, the buddleja that I planted there last year have grown so much! They were tiny little tubestock when I got them. And the acanthus are coming into flower. The bank faces the south and isn't particularly sunny, especially in winter. It is my most unfavourite place to weed, I keep thinking that I'm sure to meet a snake. And because it is so steep, as I pull out the weeds, little bits of dirt and rocks roll down towards my feet all the time and continually startled me. Then every place that a weed has come from looks like a hole, an entrance to some sort of burrow and I get even more paranoid! Of course, it's a vicious circle - the less I weed because of the fear of a snake, the more likely there is to be one there. And I have to keep reminding myself that that wasn't where I met my first Kurrajong snake in March this year - not on the pool bank away from the house but indeed in the garden bed right beside the steps down from the verandah outside the family room! And not some scaredy-cat red bellied black snake but a mean and deadly eastern brown. I saw it again in the same place a week later and on my third sighting when I was bucketing water onto the plants, I decided that action had to be taken! Brave words, indeed! I just so happened to have my trusty longhandled hoe in my hand and I went hoe, hoe, hoe and I wasn't laughing at the time! When the deed was done, the adrenalin and fear and joy all kicked in and I danced the most ridiculous victory dance on the verandah with my heart pounding. Apart from cockroaches and spiders and flies, I have never to my knowledge despatched any living creature to the other side. And it was only afterwards that I read and realised that the brown snake is regarded as the second most deadly snake in the world! Ouch! I justify my actions by the knowledge that right outside the door is way too close for such a snake, particularly with the two dogs being crazy terriers and all. Here's a picture of one borrowed from cyberspace - did I take the time to go and get my camera? Oh no, I certainly did not!
The 'experts' say that this type of snake will aggressively attack if they feel that they are being cornered or threatened, and the same people will tell you that for every snake you actually see, there are probably four more that you don't see! So my question is, if you don't see the snake, how can you know that you are cornering it? As much as I hate the thought of killing living things, this one had to go! And I put him (i.e. the bits of him!) into the compost bin - guess who hasn't been getting any compost out of the bin lately!!
Anyway, back to the weeding of the pool bank. On the right hand side of the bank, just on the flat area at the bottom, is a stump. A tree stump that used to be a black wattle, which was sawn down not long after we moved in. Leaving a stump perhaps an inch or an inch and a half high. I found it in the grass this morning when I kicked my foot into it. Ouch! Later I stepped onto the side of it. Ouch again! It got to the point where I would say to myself 'watch out for the st . . . . - Ouch!' After falling over it about ten times, even when I was warning myself about it being there, I gave up my weeding for the day and came in for a coffee.
Yum! I love my mulbery tree, poor broken thing that it is. Now, where are some good jars for jam making?