Not half an hour after the yard guy left this afternoon, I was watching through binoculars when the red-shouldered hawk swooped down from the walnut tree and plucked a juicy lizard out of the newly-mown grass. Itís always a glorious time for the birds, right after the yard gets cut back. Later I saw a couple of crows chasing the hawk back and forth over the yard.
The yard guy wants to put wood chips down in the garden area outside my front door. He explained that he would take up the paving stones, lay cardboard, then the chips on top of the cardboard. Then he would replace the stones and it would be good for six or seven years. I told him Iíd think about it, and I will. Iím beyond believing the landlord would pay for anything I want to do to this place. (For one thing, Iíve lived her almost ten years, and so far heís replaced my toilet and— well, thatís it.)
It was also the yard guyís suggestion that he come back and do the whole yard three times a year. That seems about enough to me. In fact, that seems to be exactly how often Iíve had him do the job for the last several years. I think it got away from us this time, because he had to rent some heavier equipment to get through the back yard. What Iíve noticed is that some of this yearís weeds have woodier stems and are harder to hack through than anything weíve seen before. In fact, he even mentioned bringing his machete next time.