Move on in little birdies

By TIM BEELAND,

Ahhh, Spring Break. Maybe that should be brrr, Spring Break! I suppose it’s really just another March week for most of us — grownups anyway — but we can still pretend.

We spent the first Saturday of  this year’s “Spring Break” clearing a thicket that had become quite overgrown around an old Sweet Gum tree in the middle of the field out in front of the house. “I reckon I needed some more grass to cut,” I told a neighbor and he looked around, laughed and said he reckoned I was going to need a bigger mower. He’s probably right.

It was pretty warm out there in the saw briar and Privet patch and the birds were not happy at all that their habitat of late was a changing. But change it did, and so did I.

Jeans and a shirt with sleeves got swapped for a pair of cut off shorts and a worn out t-shirt in no time flat, and in no time flat again, that turned into just the shorts. Before it was all over and done with, I looked like I had been in a “fight with a tiger” to quote that neighbor again.

That’s just the price that one pays for letting Privet get away from him. As a matter of fact I would cuss the soul that planted that hedge to start with but it’s probably not a good idea to speak ill of one’s own grandfather. But, I can still cuss the Privet he planted. And, I did!

I’m not certain which I despise the most, the Privet or the Bamboo Cane which is just as invasive out back of the house. Add in a mess of Wisteria on steroids and we do have a mess indeed. Give me Kudzu any day.

Wait, I rescind that motion. I don’t want anything else at all.

Back to the thicket at hand.

Not only does that overgrown hedge make for a tangled wicked mess, — the devil’s work, my honey bunch called it — it can grow to be pretty big and is pretty darn heavy when it comes to toting it off. So, I opted to only tote a little ways and make a real nice pile in the middle of my field.

It seems that Privet and saw briar make for a bigger brush pile when cut down than they do when standing upright. We’re going to have one heck of a bon fire when that stuff dries out.

About the time I finished chopping, and sawing, and dragging, and mowing, the day was about done and rain was headed our way. We did have time to pull an old double porch rocker out of the barn and hang it in the tree as a swing and liked that so much that we decided to pull an old single porch rocker out of the same barn and hang it on a separate limb to make a sittin’ area. 

The rain beat us to the punch on that second one, and, of course, hung around all day on Sunday. As soon as it dries out down there I’m going to get the rockers swinging and we’ll have a real fine “happy place” where we can hold court in the shade all summer long. Right now, though, in the middle of the week of Spring Break, it’s to cold to be doing anything outside anyway. It is time to pull back on the long pants and sweat shirt. 

Typical Mississippi! 

As for all those red birds that were so fond of the Privet when it was standing up, well they like it just as well, maybe better, laying down. They need not get to happy there, though, ‘cause I’m torching it first chance I get.

Actually two sweet gum trees are out there in that field, but the second one is going to get to keep its thicket for a while longer, maybe even ‘til next year. Move on in little birdies and welcome to your new home.