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                   Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 9:19PM

War against overgrowth

25 Years of Storm Observing
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I hate doing yardwork. Well, not yardwork in general, but specifically yardwork at my house. This is because the surface area of my property, not counting my house, is about 15% grass and 85% bushes and brush - the main reason being because I live literally on the side of a mountain. There is very little flat ground for grass. My front yard is level for about ten feet before plunging down a 45-degree slope (cliff, actually) covered with brush. Thus, maintaining my yard is not as simple as rolling out the lawn mower and a string trimmer for 30 minutes.

One of the things about leaving to go storm observing in May is that it gives the weeds and brush in my yard a big head start while I'm gone. This means my first yardwork day of spring is not very fun (actually it ends up being two or three days). The bushes around the house and the hill out front have been the bane of my existence ever since I bought the house, nearly unmanageable to maintain in the summer without working 2 hours a day to keep the growth in check. Until today!

This year I'm determined to wage war on the overgrowth. I went to Lowe's in search of a machine that could effectively give me the edge. Not some measly string trimmer or clippers, I wanted something metal with big teeth that could chew through anything I wanted it to. I found what I was looking for.

Here is the first task of the day, the pesky bushes (more like a weed because of how fast they grow and overtake everything) in front of the house.

And here is its enemy, my new ally in the fight against the brush.

This is the Mother Of All Hedge Trimmers, a huge Troy-Bilt gas-powered model. I laughed to myself (in a sinister Tim Allen way) at how big it was when I saw it in the store - and knew this was it. Even though I had to shell out nearly $200 for it. The blade stretches about two feet long, with inch-and-a-half gaps in between the teeth. This means business!

Do you feel lucky, brush overgrowth?

This was the first tool I've bought at Lowe's that the cashier actually warned me about how sharp and powerful it was. Yes, that is a good sign. The thing works just as well as it looks. It cut through everything like butter and reduced a two-day job of cutting down the front bushes to a little less than 45 minutes.

The hill is next!

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