Too much yard work yesterday -- 06/13/04

I woke up feeling quite stiff and sore this morning -- especially my arms and shoulders. I just did too much work outside yesterday.

I did a lot of weeding in the vegetable gardens (i.e., mine and Jill's -- she is still in Minnesota) and then was digging and leveling a bit of land on the side of the house. When we ripped out the front lawn and put down sod two years ago, we also did the side yard along the garage side of the house but we ignored the other side of the house and the back yard. Jill started to dig up part of that area before her trip, so I decided to finish it off yesterday. Well, that was my thought anyway. I worked at finishing what she had started -- a patch that is about twenty feet long (not going to try to go all the way to the back yard) -- less than an hour of digging and shoveling. I thought that today I would add some more topsoil and flatten and level the area, and then put down some grass seed.

When I woke up this morning I quickly set that thought aside. I think it was the shoveling on top of a couple of hours of weeding and raking and ripping out vines and weeds underneath the oaks. I need to pace myself better -- can't sit at a computer day after day and then suddenly turn into Farmer Jim on a Saturday morning.

Actually, I have been very good about working out this this month -- have just missed one day so far in June. I've been alternating between running on the bike path and using the exercise bike in the basement. After a cool and wet spring, Tuesday and Wednesday were suddenly hot summer days.

I was running around noon on Tuesday -- and fairly melting in the heat -- when I turned onto a pedestrian path that cuts through some woods to connect another street and our street -- I was only about thirty or forty feet onto the path when I realized there was a deer in the path in front of me -- a full grown doe, staring at me in surprise -- she ran perhaps forty feet further down the path, stopped and looked at me -- and when I kept on running (okay, jogging slowly, it was hot and I was tired) towards her she ran into the woods and disappeared. When I say "woods" don't picture the forest primeval; it's just a wooded area that's perhaps a hundred yards wide and perhaps four hundred yards long in the direction the deer took, and although it continues that far in the opposite direction, it quickly narrows to merely fifteen or twenty yards wide. (Substitute meters if you prefer, the difference in size between a yard and a meter doesn't matter much with the kinds of rough estimates I'm making.)

This is a once rural area that has become more and more suburban in appearance in recent years. Okay, so there is no city here, it's more that the villages that form the "urban core" (*snicker*) of the Town of South Kingstown have sort of grown together. Wakefield and Peace Dale sort of grew together a century ago, but now that populated area has grown larger and has merged with the expansion of Kingston. Wooded roads that once had half a dozen or so dwellings in the space of a mile began to add more and more houses until there were fifteen or twenty houses and then a side road or two would be added and a subdivision of five or six or maybe ten houses would be built. The next thing you know, the rural road has become a residential street. (My street is the main street of a development that was begun somewhere back in the mid-eighties, with several side streets. When we bought this house eight and a half years ago, the paved portion of our street stopped one house past us, the rest of it was a rough dirt track through woods. Now all the roads are paved and all the lots have houses -- probably fifty or sixty in all -- the very last one is under construction now and appears to be only a few weeks from completion.)

Although I've always been pleased at seeing wild rabbits from time to time around here, and I have seen deer on my street a few times when driving home at night, but this was the first one I'd encountered a deer in broad daylight while I was out for a run.

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