Work party today. I arrived at 8:32 AM, just after Matins had started. It was a simple service: just Fr. Daniel, Josette and me. But Gene gets the credit for early starter -- he was already working on the gutters when I arrived; he must have had business elsewhere because he was gone by the time I went outside to start.
I went on to paint some herbicide on the leaves of some blackberries that had infested one of the gardens (the really steep one, of course), trying not to kill anything else there. During that little operation other folks arrived and pretty soon the operation was well underway. Some of the usual suspects weren't there, but I know at least some of them are away this month. Hey, I missed a work party once due to business travel.
The ladies tackled the gardens, weeding, fertilising, planting (I think), pruning, watering... making them look nice, and with lots of color. I'll take a closer look tomorrow.
Fr. Daniel and Ranjit tackled the trash trees down by the road, cutting them down and hauling them away. The place looks much more open and inviting now.
Dean and I ran the weedwhackers. But not in the areas we usually tackle; those had grown up some since the last work party but there were other areas that were a much greater mess.
You may remember that last month I was looking for a sunny day in which to take a "summertime" banner photo for the website. After looking at the weeds that would show in that photo, I decided to wait until after this work party, when the place would look better.
In any event we cleared out large areas, opened up the sign in front -- and discovered where the rabbits were living. As Dean noted, they'll likely have weedwhacker nightmares for a few nights.
I sure wish we had that 5-year landscaping plan done now, because it would be so much easier to run a lawnmower over some of those areas every week or two, rather than to go after them with the weedwhacker. Some places took two full passes and lots of raking.
The end result was that my arms gave out before I'd cleared the roadside all the way to the lower exit. The place looks much nicer now -- but I know I am going to pay for my part in it tomorrow. Already the aches are setting in.
Update: The missing gas can came back. It's still not clear to me where all it has been, but it was apparently attempting to emulate a traveling garden gnome. Sans photos.