Thursday, June 9, 2011

Yard Work as Sport

This is a version of the column I had published a few weeks ago in the Kings County Record.  I have been working hard lately trying to get my yard looking good.  Its almost complete and hopefully I'll have some pictures to post.  Enjoy.
It was with mixed emotions that I watched the sun come out this afternoon.  After a long rainy spell I was spiritually lifted to see the sun.  I then looked out at my lawn and realized that with the sun came the need to mow the grass 2 times a week.  In no time though I was whistling a tune as I pulled the mower out and made the first fresh cuts across the lawn.  I was dreaming of long hikes, campouts, casting a fly line, ball games, and lots more.

After the lawn I had to weed the flower beds out front.  I thought "I'll never get fishing at this rate."  As I weeded my mind started wandering and I was comparing gardening and yard work to other sports that I participated in.  Fishing is considered a sport but really I find gardening much more physical than fishing, and I find it harder to grow a good lawn than to catch a brook trout.  I don't dispute that stock car racing is a sport with it's continual left hand turn but I can easily compare that to mowing the lawn.

My mind stopped wandering and I came back to reality as I finished weeding the flower bed.  I went to the shed thinking once again of my fishing rod but instead grabbed the chainsaw so I could limb the apple tree and cut up a fallen limb from the ash tree in the backyard.  Timber sports are under appreciated, especially if your saw isn't working right.  I pulled on that starter for 28minutes before I finally got it to turn over for the first time this season.  I'm afraid I wouldn't make much of a lumberjack.  I used a step ladder to get up the apple tree just to prove the point further.

"Now" I thought, "I can finally go fishing."  I looked up though and realized the sun was setting so the fish would have to wait another day.  I headed back to the front of the house and worked until dark doing some more weeding.  When I finally called it quits and headed inside I was tired and sore.  That likely has to do more with my poor physical conditioning lately than yard work being physically strenuous.  Either way yard work is a great way to get outside and burn off some calories and we could all stand to do that regularly and why not get some work done while we do it.  Next time I'll try to enjoy the yard work a little more.

Coming up on June 4 is National Trails Day.  I encourage you to get out and hike, bike, or paddle your favorite trail.  While you're there why not do some yard work and leave the trail better than you found it.  If you wish to do more good for the environment, keep an eye out for the Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee's "Water and Willows Day" coming up the following weekend.  This is a great chance to field work, which is the Olympics of yard work.
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