We came home last Wednesday to find our neighborhood looking like it had been hit by a tornado. Tree limbs down (those damn locust trees fall apart with the slightest gust), debris everywhere. There was one branch next to the driveway, about 5’ long, that had fallen and stuck straight up, impaled into the ground. We spent over an hour cleaning up what the storm had knocked down. We could’ve done more but the mosquitos were driving us crazy, even with bug spray on, so we called it a night. One particularly large branch landed dangerously close to the house, resting just next to the front porch. It nearly toppled my deer fence, but I managed to untangle everything and save the delicate netting. Another lovely feature of these wretched locust trees is the extra large thorns, not so fun when you’re picking up a yard full of their branches. The back deck is still a disaster but we’ll have to wait until everything dries out to clean that up.
The good news is that the town came back on Thursday to pick up the massive pile of sticks, twigs, branches that we piled up over the weekend and finished off earlier in the week. We figured if the town was nice enough to send a huge truck, a front loader and a crew of three to pick everything up, we might as well make it worth their while. It was quite a pleasant surprise to come home to find it all gone on Thursday. Of course we had to start a new pile once we cleaned up from the storm, but not one that will require the heavy duty equipment.
So the side yard is now mostly cleared. There are still a lot of leaves and small sticks everywhere, but it should all compost well if we can get it collected. We have so much more “yard” now. Granted it’s in the front, and a good chunk of it is sloped, but it really does make things feel more open. There are still enough trees for privacy between the neighbors, but it doesn’t look like an overgrown mess anymore.