Friday, April 22, 2011

Rake 'n' Scrape

In the Bahamas, there is a well known type of music called Rake ‘n’ Scrape. This lively music with a Caribbean beat, originated from bands playing the saw as a musical instrument. In fact, Dave has been known to play the saw during a rollicking band set at one of the local bars, using a well worn spoon to do the ‘scraping’. To see more about the history of this type of music, click HERE.

NOW, here in upstate New York, we are playing a different tune on our implements, and Rake 'n’ Scrape takes on a whole different meaning.

Living with the woods in our backyard has its advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes during the winter, all the leaves blow into the woods, and other times the leaves blow from the woods into the yard. Sort of like the saying, “Sometimes you are the statue and sometimes you are the pigeon.” This year we were definitely the statue, so we had more than the normal amount of raking to do and branches to pick up. Luckily we have the equipment to handle it, making the leaves and branches easier to dispose of. An advantage of having the woods is that we can just put the bucket load after bucket load back there to mulch down (and hopefully not blow back!).

While raking one of the large periwinkle gardens I decided we might as well REALLY clean it up and remove all the old stumps, rocks, and a couple of errant growing nuisance trees. Dave was ecstatic to be able to do some digging (aka scraping) and hauling away the old roots.
This area hasn’t been maintained in years and gets totally out of control during the summer. Now I can keep it trimmed and even mow it if I want or need to.

Once the raking and scraping were complete close to the house, garages, road, and shop, I started the process of ridding the open field of fallen foliage. Since Dave was already busy with customers, I took over the job of running the ‘Billy Goat’ gigantic leaf blower on wheels. This is the first time I have used this machine and what a handful it is. Once I got the hang of how it diverts the air and leaves (you have to be careful not to keep it blowing in one spot because the power will dig holes in the ground), I actually enjoyed the exercise and instant gratification!

The ‘Pashley Ranch’ looks so much better now, and it even felt and looked like spring today. Now we are ready for bigger projects…

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