Yard wars: Let the battle begin

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I stood on my front deck a few days ago (in between rain showers) and surveyed the aftermath of a long, snowy winter. And I thought to myself, “Oh, woe is me.”

Over at our cluster of crab-apple trees, there’s the big branch a bear tore down late last fall. The amount of deer droppings under those trees is frankly disgusting. After all this rain, it’s a gooey mess. I’m not sure why the deer have chosen those particular trees as their hangout because the fruit was picked clean before winter set in. As for the bear damage, a few leftover crab apples at the very top of the tree that we couldn’t get to evidently made the tree fair game for the hungry bruin. Sigh.

The voles had their way with the front lawn, creating a network of tunnels and holes. They are persistent, perennial pests.

Because it was such a heavy snow winter, the snow-plow guy was forced to find extra space to store the snow, and that meant piling it from the driveway area onto our lawn, bringing with it a fair amount of gravel that now needs to be picked out of the grass. He also inadvertently plowed over a blueberry bush and knocked out a corner of our rock terrace. Heavy sigh.

Part of the fence that normally keeps the deer out of the garden came down this winter; that needs to be repaired before any planting can be done. Another heavy sigh.

We all know how difficult it is to keep a lawn and garden looking good in the Flathead, because if the deer aren’t devouring your flowers and shrubs, any number of rodents, birds and insects will sure enough make your life miserable.

It’s the little things that can get under your skin. I had forgotten that last year a certain variety of pesky birds began sitting on my car doors in the spring so they can peck on the side mirrors (the smeared mirrors are telltale evidence). And they leave messy droppings that drip down the front car doors. Disgusting sigh.

Yet we persist in our maintenance chores, lured by the promise of lovely, bug-free evenings on our back decks, and fresh produce from the garden.

Winters are long in the Flathead, and this one was a doozy. But with all the work facing me, I’d be lying if I said I’m ready to embrace the tasks at hand. I went back into the house, ready to crawl back in bed and hibernate a while longer. There’s always tomorrow to get started.

Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.

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