31: Making mulch is serious business

(North corner of the pond this morning)

Earth knows no desolation.
She smells regeneration in the moist breath of decay.

~ George Meredith

My outdoor adventure today involved work.  M and I made mulch.  Contrary to popular belief, it was not smelly business.  Just serious and noisy business.  We pile up the brush and downed branches, letting it all dry out for a few months, and then we go around with the chipper-shredder and turn it into mulch.  It actually smells quite good, like sawdust and pine (if there are pine boughs involved in the process and there frequently are).  As for the noise, that’s what earplugs are for.

(Chipper-shredder in the woods.)

It’s cloudy and in the 60’s today.  Not a bad day at all for working outside.  We started with the brush piles in the front and side yards.  Because I need more mulch for the garden, we went back to the woods for a little while and cleaned up some of the paths for the extra wood/mulch.  Usually we let things be in the woods, other than moving branches off the trail.  Mother Nature takes care of things on her own back there.

(Freshly chipped and shredded mulch.)

But when we need the extra mulch, the woods are the place to go for more wood and leaves.

I ended up with a slightly swollen bottom lip.  A branch whipped up and hit me in the mouth.  Ouch.  That’s one of the hazards of chipping and shredding.  Projectiles (pieces of wood) come flying out of the machine every now and then.

The larger pieces of wood are saved for kindling and firewood.  We have already laid in a pretty good supply of wood for the winter.  We might have to get out to the meadow and clean up some more of the wood from the elm trees we had to have cut down due to Dutch elm disease.

Slide show

I’ve been photographing the pond every morning.  I stand in the same spot at nearly the same time (usually between 8:00 and 8:30am).  I have been putting my daily morning views of the pond in a slide show as part of the highlights of my outdoor commitment.  I update it pretty much every day and you can find it anytime by clicking on the page 365 Life in the Bogs Outdoors Challenge above (or on the link I just provided for you — for those not familiar, and I know there are a few of you out there, if the words are showing up in a bold green color, it’s a link).

Since I have now collected 30+ days of pond views (along with a few days of other views from when we were traveling and I wasn’t here to photograph the pond), I thought I’d bring the slide show over here today.  (For those not familiar with how these things work, you can stop the ad on the slide show by clicking on the X in the upper right of the ad.)

You can watch a full screen version by clicking on the slide show.  It will take you to the website where you’ll have the option of watching it full screen.

If you haven’t already done so, leave a comment on my last post (30:  The leaf and berry collection) to enter the Give-Away.  The winner will receive a free print of almost any of my photos seen on my blogs or galleries.  A name will be randomly drawn from a hat on Monday evening.

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10 Comments on “31: Making mulch is serious business”

  1. jenna says:

    I actually meant “smelling good” when I texted “smelly” hehe. Compost might be a different story, depending what sort of stuff you put in there. When we had a very large dog growing up, our compost was especially fragrant.

    Cool slide show 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Compost is a much different story, J. Although mulch can get pretty stinky too. One of the things I disliked about living in the ‘burbs was the way people had great mounds of steaming, stinking mulch delivered every spring. The whole neighborhood would smell like rotting wood, leaves, and whatever else they put in that stuff. Our mulch never smells quite that bad, even when it’s breaking down. Probably cos of the pine branches that go in with the rest of it.

  2. jenna says:

    Fully decomposed German-shepherd-grass-clipping compost makes a very fine additive to soil when growing tomatoes though, I feel I should mention.

    • Robin says:

      I’ve thought about asking our neighbor for some of their horse manure for our compost but it has to be really cooked to use it. I’m not sure our compost gets hot enough for that.

  3. ladyfi says:

    What a gorgeous shot of the pond.. and that quote is so true. Autumn hides new beginnings there in the ending of things.

  4. bearyweather says:

    I am really impressed with that first photo … how do you obtain that watercolor effect?
    I love that one, it is gorgeous!

    I could really use mulcher … the wind this weekend has brought down hundreds of tree branches and pine cones, I have a lot to clean up.

  5. Marcie says:

    These images are absolutely stunning! You have turned making mulch into a fine art!!!


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