The air is still hot and heavy with moisture. Add to that a mixture of bug sprays, chemicals and manure, spread across the fields by plane or tractor. At that point, breathing becomes an inflexible process.
The skies this morning were blue, then deep, dark angry grey that rumbled and barked, spitting out streaks of light, then changing back to blue.
I took Uriah out for his morning walk by sitting on the front step and waving him off. With a happy wag of his tail he headed to the pond where he startled some ducks and blackbirds. As I waited for him to return I was bombarded by annoying mosquitoes.
Uriah took his time. So I just stared out over the field grass and watched it grow.
I had the tractor running a couple of weeks ago. It had roared to life, with as much exuberance as Uriah running to the pond.
*If you didn’t get that reference, well, Uriah walks slowly sticking his head in every hole sneezing and rolling in everything that smells bad… The tractor coughed, wheezed, chugged and rolled, jerked and smelled bad…
I checked and filled the tires, added water and oil. Brushed off the cutting deck and oiled anything that moved. Once I pulled her out of the barn I decided to move that downed tree.
I was very careful..
Before I took her on the path, I stopped the engine and walked the area, poking at the ground. I didn’t want to get stuck in heavy mud, or caught up on a stump. I backed into the path and tried to get as close as I could to that tree. Driving backwards is not within my tractor maneuvering ability, so it took me a while.
Satisfied I wasn’t going to be stuck in the mud; I turned off the engine and gracefully slipped off the seat unto a wild rose bush. Ouch!
Finally I was able to wrap the chain around the back hitch and around the middle of the tree.
Once back in the driver’s seat I slowly moved forward, dragging the tree not forward but sideways, just as I planned. The trees roots were facing south and its upper branches to the north. I could only move it a few feet, or it would get caught up on the Bog Willows.
Slowly I inched forward.
Uriah was watching me from the edge of the path. As soon as I made my first lurching movement his tail disappeared between his legs and he ran towards the house. Smart dog! He remembered when that same chain broke free from the last tree I moved and went flying, taking out some branches. I had found it hanging in a tree some fifty feet away.
I hesitated for a moment and watched Uriah run. For a second, I debated what I was doing and thought that maybe this wasn’t a good idea…
That lasted for a minute.
Then I set the tractor in forward motion, slowly the chain went taut. I was very surprised when the tree moved off the path and ended up right where I wanted it to be, top facing west and roots to the East.
Nothing tried to bite me. I didn’t get the tractor stuck in the mud. The best part, I didn’t see one tick!
I removed the chain from the hitch. Then I put Uriah in his outside kennel. And came back to cut the path, I was tempting fate by not walking the path first.. But even that turned out well, so well in fact I took Uriah out for a walk..
A walk that ended with us being chased by a few angry Bumble Bees, luckily they only sting if cornered…