The weeds are down but not out, and that changes my tactic when it comes to the yard. There's still a lot of stuff that has to come up, but there's nothing to pull it by. And I have to keep busy, just to convince myself I'm useful. So, innovative thinker that I am, I thought I'd turn over a little dirt.
Oh, man. You'd think that when I started digging right outside my front door, I'd have some small clue what I might find. After all, I've lived here for nearly three years. The first thing I hit was a piece of wire mesh. I don't know why it was there, but if it was supposed to stop weeds from growing up through it, it wasn't doing the job. If it was there to keep the gopher from making holes willy-nilly, it was failing miserably at that as well.
So I pulled. And pulled and pulled, and it eventually came up in four large pieces. Maybe I should have left things alone, but once I got started I couldn't stop myself. I really wanted to turn over that dirt, for no reason other than I couldn't think of anything more productive to do in that area. Plus, I could use the exercise.
During my labors I also managed to dig up some black rubber tubing and a couple of pieces of thin wire. I assume this was part of the nonfunctioning gopher control system. They're not going to know it's gone, because they never knew it was there.
I also stabbed my garden fork into a long, white section of plastic water pipe, but I left that alone and undamaged. The sprinkler system doesn't work either, but who knows where I might have ended up if I'd started taking it apart? I'm not that comfortable with plumbing parts, and I've already had one gushing leak this month. At least that one wasn't my fault; this one definitely would have been, and wouldn't have accomplished anything positive.
The biggest item I pulled out of the ground was brown and organic and very familiar looking. It had the suspicious appearance of a blackberry bramble root. I started pulling, and it ripped a little trough in the garden as it came free. When I got to a point where I couldn't yank hard enough to keep going, I took the clippers and cut it off as close to the ground as possible.
That's when I found myself holding an eight-foot length of root with no beginning and no end. That is, nothing was growing out of it other than itself. Whether I'm right about what kind it is or not, it's now gone, but I'm sure I'll find more sections as I go along.
All this effort gained me back a tiny area of the garden, with a lot more to go. When I had to quit, it was partly from exhaustion, I'll admit, but it was also because of the bugs that were buzzing around my head and biting my arms and neck. Outdoorsy as you might think I am, I can only take so much of that before I have to retreat into the house and do something less productive but safer, like writing a journal entry.