My spouse took a glance at my bending table yesterday and said that it would be a lot easier to work on if some of the monster Chinese elm branches were trimmed away from it. So that's what he and I did today with the help of the Banshees. Chinese elms are river trees as best as I can tell and if there's a water source nearby they will grow quick and they will grow big. The one we partially trimmed today was one we tried to cut down four or five years ago. Not that you'd be able to tell. It takes a lot to kill these trees and this one thumbed its nose at us and grew back. I used to despair at the thought of ever being able to get rid of these trees for once and for all, since both poison and nitroglycerin are out as potential tree-removers. However, I did find through trial and error a method that will probably work for us. It goes a little like: A. Remove as much of the tree as possible, B. Move a flock of ducks and geese into the area for a year or two. Our flock loves to eat Chinese elm leaves and so far I have seen no evidence that the tree can go without leaves for very long without giving up the ghost. It takes patience but I'm just happy I've found a method I can live with.
I haven't gotten to bracing the hoop jig quite yet. I'm still puttering about cutting up whippy long branches so we can stuff them into the trash cans without a shade of remorse. However, that should be done in about an hour and the jig table won't take too much trouble. Yayy! By this evening or tomorrow morning I can start bending hoops again and driving stakes and setting up for the next big push at the Goose. Or rather, the next two major projects; poultry pens and the first phase of the enclosed garden. We have a massive population of ground squirrels in the back yard, so rather than deal with them using poison, traps, or pellet guns, I've opted to remove their food source. They're fat and sassy and here because it's so easy for them to access the ducks' food and water. I'm going to make that access less easy (I'm hoping for something closer to impossible) and hopefully they'll move on. Even if they don't I will no longer be spending money to feed the extra maws. So that's good.
A friend who got into ducks at the same time I did (but who actually kept her head about it) is down to the last duck of the original trio. Since her life is moving widdershins to keeping ducks, I have offered to adopt her duck and she has graciously agreed. Now you know why, although I have needed to get the hoops up and running for the last eternity or so, suddenly it has gotten sort of urgent. The extra duck is being provided with an extra drake I happen to have but they're going to need their own place. Hey presto, I happen to have the means to so provide, but it means getting up off of my duff and actually getting some of the plans I've been twitching with done.
So I guess I know what I'm doing tomorrow!