Of branches, vines, and bleeding hearts

We are slowly getting ready for some more fencing projects. This new fence line will run from the corner of the garden to the chicken pen. It will be around 200 feet. Unfortunately, there was a huge pile of limbs that we had saved for firewood which was right in the pathway of where the new fence will go. (There are other obstacles that need to be resolved, so don’t expect the fence to go up tomorrow.) Lee decided to attack the limbs with a bow saw and in just a few hours he had cleaned up the whole mess.

It actually added up to more wood then what I thought it would–almost half a cord. When we finish super insulating the house as we plan, then I foresee the possibility of keeping warm on just a little bit of gathered wood like this.

I really am glad to get rid of that eye sore of a mess. This is our new view where the pile of limbs were. Okay so it’s not super grand yet as we still have a TV out there from the previous tenants. Most the the previous tenant’s stuff is gone, but not all of it yet.

Oh well, I can live with one rotting TV for a little while longer. It sure beats what it used to look like when we bought the place.

Oh yes, I have to add another picture too. It makes me feel better about how far we have come since buying this place. You can see why one little TV is no big thing after all the work we’ve gone through cleaning up.

After we had finished cleaning up our limb mess, Lee started sweeping debris off his tractor and found a vine growing up it. I didn’t realize these vines were growing yet. Lee’s tractor has been parked since he finished moving the chicken coop into the garden about a month ago.

This vine is about five feet tall and very determined that it wanted the tractor as a trellis.

I have no idea what type of plant this wild vining species is. When I saw it growing last spring I didn’t pull it up as it reminded me of a squash plant and I wanted to see if it would grow any sort of fruit. Now granted, when I showed it to my mom her advice was just to pull it up. It never did anything last year, so this year I will just pull them up. That is unless someone tells me otherwise about what an amazing plant this is.

The first of the bleeding hearts are up finally. Now, didn’t I tell you they were the matronly color of purple and not the pretty two-tone ones you can buy in the store? Oh well, I still have a special spot in my heart for them.

Finally, on a wonderful, amazing, spectacular note, Jack, our little one eyed throw-a-way cat is becoming a mouser. We keep finding dead bodies at our back door. We love our little black Jack cat. I hug her all the time much to her dismay. (She secretly loves it!)

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8 Responses to Of branches, vines, and bleeding hearts

  1. Lynn says:

    Good going, Jack!!! She’s such a good girl! We have been getting alot of mice lately, but ours are inside the house! I figured the weather is getting warmer, and the mice start coming in. Luckily my 2 cats have been busy catching them for us – they both are excellent hunters, too, just like your Jack.

    The tractor vine is funny – it has a very tough looking stalk. Guess it loves all the rain. Good luck identifying it!

    The trash pics from when you moved in are amazing! You guys have done very well cleaning up.

  2. Ron says:

    Hey! You can watch TV while you burn the brush! ­čÖé

    You really did a lot of work cleaning up. It looks very nice.

    That plant does look like something in the squash family. I know they are quite promiscuous… where our hogs were pastured the first year, up came lots of squash-ish stuff the next year. I thought I’d let it grow to see if it would produce feed. Some of it bore fruit but it looked very weird and the hogs had no real interest in it. I figure it was probably acorn squash crossed with watermelon, or pumpkin crossed with crookneck… something like that.


  3. Benita says:

    Every time I read how much work Lee has gotten done, all I can think of is how I can borrow him for a couple of weeks.

    That wood pile looks great, and, oh my, have you done a lot of cleaning on that place. Oh, my!

    We are finally getting some much needed sunshine here and the temps are climbing – mid-70’s by the weekend. Woohoo!!!

  4. lee says:

    Lynn – Our experience last spring was the same as yours. As the weather got warmer, we suddenly had a number of mice in the house. I assume they were looking for nesting sites, but I don’t understand why they didn’t try to spend the winter indoors too. Either way, Jack is inside more than she outside, so if we get any mice this year she’ll deal with them. Last spring, Jasper patted a mouse that had it’s tail caught in a trap and then he just walked off.

    Ron – I didn’t realize all those plants were so easily crossed. Obviously I haven’t tried to save any squash seed yet. These vines don’t really bother me, so I might ignore them most of them another year and see what we get. They must have produced something last year, as I doubt a squash relative came back from the root.

    Benita – Oh, don’t ask to borrow me! I feel extremely unproductive most of the time. When I see other people write up posts like this one or this or this I feel exhausted just reading them. Then I have to go lie down. ­čÖé

    And yes, this place was an amazing mess. It’s an Oregon thing I’ve decided–some sort of genetic predisposition to the accumulation of massive heaps of moldering rubbish. We see it repeated all over. Many places are far worse than ours was. Those two pictures above from the original state of the land are of the same area but shot from opposite sides. The limbs were too low to see through. The second picture was taken from almost the same perspective as Robin’s new picture of our cleaned up wood pile.

  5. Ali says:

    Hey R & L,
    I’ve been reading some of your old posts and what the two of you have accomplished is nothing short of miraculous! Seriously, demoing your house, and then living in it while you do the reno — that is hard! Wish I could send you some seedlings, I always hate composting the extras I can’t give away!

  6. robin says:

    Ali- Aw thanks so much. It’s been a lot of work. I wish that I had someone nearby that knew more about starting seeds. My mom never did so I am still trying to figure everything out.

  7. Looks like wild cucumber sometimes called “man in the ground.” The one that grows near here is Marah oreganus

  8. lee says:

    Throwback – Thanks for the plant ID! I found some photos of that species and it certainly looks to be the same. I’m amazed by this plant. It’s grown over a foot taller since this post was written a week ago, and this in full shade under a stand of Douglas Firs. If only the domesticated cucumber was that forgiving, eh?

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