Today was ‘weed-whacking day’, since the weather was a bit cooler than before (high today around 75F).
My home’s lot size is quite small. The back yard, at it’s deepest part, is less than 27 feet deep. That lot edge drops off into about a 40 foot drop to a 15 foot wide flat ‘common area’ below. From that point, there are berry bushes and a forested area below that.
Along the north-east corner of my lot, there is a less steep drop off to another ‘common area’. That area, between my house and the next one, was apparently not ‘buildable. Although the common areas belong to the Home Owners Association (which is quite active around here, since most owners are retired folks like me), the areas in back of my house are not maintained by the HOA’s landscape contractor. So I get to do it.
It’s not a bad gig. The area is quite pretty; the berry bushes attract a small herd of deer (along with local residents picking the Marion berries), and the forested area in back means that I don’t have any backyard neighbors. A first ‘whack’ of the area in spring takes 4-5 hours, and then another one is needed in summer, which takes about half the time.
It is a bit challenging though. There is a slope to much of the area that is probably up to 65%. So I have to be careful about foot placement as I attempt to cut down the weed growth.
Previously, I’ve used standard work boots, which have a fairly smooth sole. Today, I decided to use my trail-walking shoes (there are lots of nice old-forest-road-trails around here; I don’t walk on them as often as I should) because there is bit more ‘tread’ in the shoes. I figured that I’d gain a bit of traction on the hills with the trail shoes.
And it was a bit better. I am careful about foot placement, making sure that one foot is secure before I move the other foot. I get my feet situated, ensure that I am stable, then use the gas weed-whacker to cut the area that I can reach. Then, repeat.
This works OK on the less steep slopes, but I was working on a section that was quite steep – that 65% slope. The ground is weeds and dirt with a few rocks. I was cutting on the downhill side of my position, and slipped.
And took a nice slide down the hill for about 30 feet. I did manage to flop back on my butt, and pointed my feet downhill, and was able to stop just short of a big rock at the bottom. It was quite fun. Mostly.
I sat there for a minute, then got ‘back up on the horse’, finishing off the rest of the area that I could get to. There is still one small section on the steep part of the hill that is not cut. But I suspect it will stay that way.
I could probably set up a harness and rope thing and use that to cut the rest of the hill. But, probably not worth the effort.
So I’ve got most of the weeds taken care of. There may be one more session in the fall.
But the slide was an interesting part of the day.