I've mentioned it before but there's no way to overstate it: when I bought the house, the yard was a jungle (and it still is, sort of). I'm very fortunate to have landed a place with a triple lot, but the downside is that believe it or not, an overgrown quarter acre is kind of a nightmare.
Initially, my goal for the yard was to simply make it safe for my dogs to run around in. I wanted to get limbs off the roofs, off the walls, off the ground, and pull anything that wasn't a legit plant or flower so I could see what I was dealing with. That was it, just enough to confirm that there wasn't anything in the yard that would hurt the dogs if they got into it.
But a funny thing happens once you start cutting limbs or pulling vegetation outta the ground...you start saying "OK, just one more"...except "one more" somehow turns into 84 more. I cut and I cut and I cut and I raked and I raked and I raked. I climbed up on the house's roof and cut anything I could reach. I climbed up on the garage's roof and cut anything I could reach. Mind you, I was armed only with a pole saw that extends maybe 20' and a pair of garden shears, but with this much vegetation and overgrowth they're adequate tools.
Before I knew it, I had multiple stacks of limbs and multiple piles of Japanese Knotwood, and I hadn't even put a dent in the yard. I was creating waste faster than I could make it go away in the city-provided yard waste alley dumpsters.
So I decided to rent a dumpster and get after it. Saturday, a 15 yard dumpster showed up and I spent the weekend filling it up. Goal #1 was to get everything already on the ground into the dumpster.
The work was pretty slow going, because to get to the street, where the dumpster was parked, two fences had to be navigated. The first fence has a gate that's easy enough to walk through, but then the options are limited to traversing stairs to walk through the second fence gate, or dragging things through a bunch of ivy and hopping the second fence. I chose the second option, but in either case, it's a lot of walking.
Goal #2 was to trim a few more branches, and basically do anything other than tackle the northeast corner of the property, the corner with an old metal shed, a massive oak tree filled with vines, a couple fences, some overhead power lines, and all kinds of stuff that weren't going to be fun to deal with.
Goal #3 was dealing with the northeast corner of the property.
I'd already done a little work in that area of the yard, just to clear a path to the big oak tree and shed so I could assess the situation, but there was plenty left to do and I knew that if I brought Freckles over, she'd get into whatever existed in that giant mass of nonsense. A couple hours of work later, including working my way around the entire shed - which was pretty gross with the ants and spiders and whatever else was making the thing a home - that corner was halfway cleaned up.
That was where I left off on Saturday, and on Sunday, Roscoe and Freckles got introduced to their new yard. Freckles, as always, enjoyed the ride there.
When we got to the rehab house, Roscoe and Freckles' reaction was about like I figured it'd be.
Roscoe's almost 11.5 yrs old, and he's got 20 lifetimes of mileage on his legs and about a million hikes under his belt; there isn't a whole lot of terrain, wildlife, nature, etc. that he hasn't seen, walked through, rolled in, or layed in. I assumed Roscoe would be relatively unimpressed.
Freckles, on the other hand, is a puppy. And energetic, even by puppy standards. She's about 8 months old and there isn't a whole lot she doesn't want to explore. Likewise, she views all wildlife as meals, and I thought she'd be pretty excited about the yard (where we've been living, the back yard is maybe .05 acres, not a whole lot of room for her to run, which she loves to do).
Their first few moments in their new backyard played out just like I thought they would.
Trying to work with Freckles in the yard was a bit of a challenge - she loves trying to "help" - but when it was all said and done...the dumpster is almost full and my entire body is sore. 23,000 steps between Saturday and Sunday, and I only had my phone in my pocket about 40% of the time. But a dent was made. There's plenty of work left to do, but the work put in over the weekend was a definite step in the right direction.
Needless to say, I'll go back over and put in a few more hours this afternoon; I have the dumpster until Friday and I want to fill that sucker to the absolute max.