Saturday, May 19, 2007

Chipper Fest 2007

So this used to be the scene in our backyard:

Dilapidated garage, small pile of brush in front, HUGE pile of brush on the side. Unfortunately I didn't have the foresight to take a photo of the huge pile of brush, so you'll have to imagine it. I am guessing it was between 4 and 6 times larger than this small pile. When we moved into the house the perennial beds were very overgrown and there were rosebushes that a man could become entangled in and die. There were also horrible bayberry hedges with terrifying thorns everywhere in the front yard. Sometime last summer my lovely, but tough as nails mother in law Judy M. went to town with the nippers and wrought havoc on all that was thorny and bad in the yard and piled it in the back so that we could chip it and have all of this wonderful and free mulch. Chipping was fun, right?

Finally last weekend we got around to renting the chipper. It was going to be a fun and beautiful day outdoors. It turned out to be anything but.
This is a photo of the chipper, we'll call it The Mangler . If you look closely you can see the strained face that Chris is making. It turns out that when you put wood in TM it does one of two things. 1. It will wrench the branch (probably thorny thing) out of your hand practically dragging you in the hopper too, or 2. it will reject the branch entirely and it will rocket back out of the hopper and hit you in the eye. During both of the scenarios your hands are being vibrated so violently that you quickly lose sensation. This is good so that it doesn't hurt when a large branch kicks back into your hand. I don't mean to get bogged down, this is a story of courage and triumph. After 5 hours of deafening grinding and bodily harm, all of the brush was gone. Here is a photo of the spot where the brush pile was:
Inge is proudly surveying the good job we did. Of course she and the other wild dogs had to be in the house for safety purposes. And here is a photo of TM finally at rest and the pile of "free and fun" mulch that we made:
I would give this advice to would-be chippers. Take the brush to the landfill and on the way home buy some mulch.

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