I was planning on doing some yardwork yesterday and today, but I wore myself out yesterday playing the lumberjack, so instead I’ll put an update in my blog.

First, some fauna:

I don’t know what this guy is. I saw him trundling along outside while I was talking to Mom on the phone, so I figured I’d better take a picture. One of these days, I’m going to get an Insect and Spider Field Identification Guide, and then I can drop some interesting science when I post these pictures.

Ha! At least I know what this is. In a general way, anyway. This is a very large ant – a warrior ant, I think. She’s over 15mm long, but it’s hard to prove it without context. Usually I see her ilk standing guard amongst a bunch of her smaller cousins, but she was out exploring. She wouldn’t pose for me, except for this quick over-the-shoulder glance.

For my birthday, Todd and Cindy bought me a chainsaw. Actually, they gave me a gift certificate to Home Depot, and I picked out the chainsaw. And yes, I promise to be careful.

So, yesterday I went out to the front yard and trimmed about 10 low-hanging branches that were encroaching on the Japanese Maple and hanging down over the yard, low enough that I had to stoop under them to mow. The branches were nearly small trees in their own right, if you stuck them in the ground.

In order to be able to cut them up properly, I had to strip off all of the leaves, then clip the twigs off and break them down into small segments. Only after that could I have at them with the chainsaw.

Four or five hours later, and all I have to show for it are these wimpy little piles. And you can see that very large pile of wood I collected before the arrival of the chainsaw. Whew! That’s a lot of work.

I was planning on going out again today to dig up more of the front box, but when we were carrying Kim’s store supplies (not really even very heavy) out of Target this morning, I realized I’d better give my arms a break. I need to get in shape!

Here are a few shots of the yard from the perspective of a home-owner instead of a home-buyer.

You can see the box between the trees in the front, and you can just make out on the right about half-an-hour’s worth of digging dirt out and wheelbarrowing it to the back yard.

Just to the left and in front of the bird bath is the mini-valley I’m filling in with the dirt from the front.

Oh! I forgot to mention – while I was putting together the wheelbarrow last week, I cleverly wrenched my thumb between the arm of a box-head wrench and the corner of an l-shaped piece of metal, and so the corner of the metal punched right through my thumbnail and into the skin behind. Ouch! That hurt more than anything I’ve done to a finger before, including crushing it with a hammer or stapling it, since it kind of includes both. Now I’ve got a fault line in my thumbnail and a black spot slowly moving up as it grows out. I wonder what will happen when it gets near the end of the nail.