Sunday, July 06, 2008

Unscheduled Yard Work

Yesterday, a couple of guys rang the bell looking to do yard work. Well, I do my own yard work, so I tried to shoo them away. My wife, however, decided she wanted to eliminate the two big desert spoons in the front yard. I don't blame her. She injured herself working on one, an injury that ultimately led to elbow surgery.

Through broken English, they offered to yank them out for $140. I pretty much scoffed at that price and started walking back into the house. They chased me, "how much you offer, how much you offer?" We finally offered them $50 and they got to work.

Now, if you've ever dealt with desert spoons, you know that removing two big ones with temperatures around 100-degrees two hours before noon, you know that $50 is a bargain. Look at the little barbs on the edges of the leaves. They don't mix well with human flesh.

These guys used their pickup to yank the first one out, then I dragged it onto the back yard. That was the small one.

In this photo, you can see the small desert spoon as the light green spiky plant in the lower right. You can also see how crowded the small patch of landscaping has become.

The second desert spoon is the biggest one I've ever seen. In that respect, it was a shame to pull it out. On the other hand, trimming the thing was a nightmare. They broke two ropes trying to pull it out--one theirs, the other mine. They finally removed it with a combination of rope, pickup truck, and pickax.

The big one, I only managed to get as far as the back gate, then I left it. It's somewhat hidden from view by one of my sages.

Here's the little one laying on its side in the back yard.

I had to cut the big one up, at least a little, to allow people to walk past it. This thing is a monster. The glove is there to give you some idea of the size of the thing. This is after I spent a good hour cutting leaves away.

Even when I get the leaves cut away, I have no idea how I'm going to get rid of the things. The guys that pulled them out did not have a trailer. I hope to get them cut down to size by bulk collection week. This one is very heavy and not exactly equipped with convenient handles for carrying. Here is the root end of the plant, with my foot for size reference.

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