Monday, July 22, 2013

Ass on Fire

This could be the title of a porn film. Instead, it's of the state of my butt.
 I've been having so much fun with my telescopic pruning saw, that I decided to have a go at the African acacia tree. The ones you see in temperate U.S. climates have lovely fern-like leaves and fragrant flowers. African acacias are designed to discourage hungry elephants and giraffes, hence, the 2-inch thorns that have an irritating sap.
Another defense mechanism is the smell. As soon as I made the first cut, an odor like a warm cesspool hit me.That's when I decided to cut down the entire tree.
 I got all the branches off and dragged them to the pile of garden debris, then went back for the trunk which wasn't very big, but heavy enough that I needed to drag it while walking backwards. Because this shit only happens to me, I of course tripped, just as I reached the pile, and landed right on the cut branches. Many, many swear words later, I sat in a tub with water and ice. It looks like my butt was used for a game of darts.
 And no, I can't show you a picture, I don't have a wide-angle lens.                                            

Friday, July 19, 2013

Seasick in a Tree

Gardening in the tropics is interesting, to say the least. The other day, I found a baby puffer fish while weeding, and a mushroom that smells like decaying flesh. I think the puffer fish must have been scooped up by a pelican or a frigate, then spat out when he puffed up his spines  (the garden ends at a cliff, overlooking the bay.

Today, I decided to prune the coconut tree because the nuts keep falling on the garden lamps and breaking them. Here is the equipment needed:

-Beer. This is the first and most important step. Put a six-pack to chill, otherwise you can't have a cold beer when the pruning is done.
-Hard-hat.  I didn't actually wear it but it looks pretty butch.
-A pruning saw and telescopic pole..
-A ladder
-A strap to lash the ladder to the tree.
So I'm on the ladder, avoiding looking down, because I'll certainly say to myself,  "you're at the top of a 13 foot ladder, wielding a saw on a 12 foot pole. Are you effing crazy ?!", and hoping I don't disturb any stinging centipedes which may be napping in the nooks and crannies of the trunk.
For those of you who have never done this or are planning to in the future, know that to get at the coconuts, you must first cut off the frond directly beneath. I sawed and sawed, getting covered  in all the crap that accumulates in a palm frond, then got hit with said frond as it fell, but didn't get knocked off the ladder. Note to self: DO NOT saw the fronds directly above you, idiot. Next came the coconuts. A green coconut weighs about 5 lbs, and there are 6-8 coconuts in a cluster. If  you can calculate the velocity of  40 lbs. falling from a height of 30 feet ( I can't ), that is some serious shit whistling past your head.
So, you know those cheesy Hawaiian songs about palm trees swaying in the breeze? It's another story when you're IN the tree. Seeing the clouds roll by through the fronds, mixed with the swaying of the tree is exactly like standing on a rolling deck. I don't do well on boats unless I'm fishing and have something to concentrate on.
I had to stop, and was feeling too nauseous to drink my hard-earned beer.
I'll try again in a few days. I will not be defeated by coconuts.