Stars in the sky are things of beauty and light. Stars on the ground...not so much. It was a perfect day to get out and mow down the third generation of star thistle. It wasn't too hot, and there was a light breeze to blow away the dust cloud that arose to surround me and the lawn tractor. I got three yards mowed before calling it quits. Star thistle is harder to kill than a Hydra...cut off one head and two grow back, but you have to keep trying. Just working outside again was a joy, and constructive destruction is always satisfying.
Tree Guy came in the late afternoon to assess the dead live oak (how's that for an oxymoron?) down by the barn. Taking anyone into the goat pen is an experience. All the goats and Poppy cluster around, nudging and nuzzling, tasting clothes and fingers, pulling at shoe strings, curious to the nth degree. Poppy soon wandered off, once she realized no treats were in the offing. Tree Guy was very tolerant of his nosy entourage, and explained he had been raised, and missed, being around livestock. (Not everyone feels the same way.) He said the tree is structurally sound in the main, but two large, heavy branches over the barn should come down. He showed me how to check for stress fractures in the tree and in the ground; the latter would show that the root system was raising. Right now, we're in no eminent danger and that's a relief. To give an indication of how inflation has escalated, twelve years ago this same company removed mistletoe and all dead limbs from six trees, burned the twiggy stuff, and cut and stacked the "good" wood. The price for all that was the same as it will cost to have just those two limbs removed, with the debris being left where it falls. They would take it out of the pen for an additional one hundred seventy-five dollars. I could buy a nice used car for the price of cutting down the entire tree. I appreciate that isn't necessary just yet, but since I'd rather be proactive than reactive, I'll make an appointment to get those limbs sectioned out. The girls can use them for a playground. Stars and dollar signs dance in my eyes. Can't get rid of one and can't keep the other.