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The Joy Of Gardening

If you had happened to look out in the backyard of my building over the last two weeks you would have seen me toiling away building a new garden plot. First there I was out in a soft rain ripping up turf in the mud; joyously mud-splattered and a little wet. As any gardener knows its far easier to take up grass before the roots get a good chance to set after winter, so the first good rain of spring is the best time for the job. Then there was the tilling. I was able to borrow a lovely tool from a friend which is sort of like a squared fork on a long handle which you can twist around and break up clumps of clay and packed earth. Following this came mixing in the peat moss to ensure drainage, then four inches of top soil over top the mess. A generous neighbour gave me some limestone flagstone which have made a nice retaining wall for three quarters of the plot, and so I'm all set for flowers.

This is what spring is for me: renewing my connection with dirt, and the natural order of things. In my own way I feel like I'm restoring some of the mother's vitality by taking soil that has been rendered useless through neglect and abuse (I dug up huge chunks of concrete, pieces of glass, rusted nail, and other debris from the ground). Planting a garden is one of the ways that we can give back for the gifts we receive from nature. I always try and maintain a certain respect for the wildness of the area, harming as little as possible and working with what's there. No hacking down trees because they block the sun for daisies, or anything intrusive like that. Defiantly no effort made for artificial landscaping either: well kept lawns are such a waste of resources, give me a field of wild flowers any day of the week. No fertilizer, lawn mowers or other noisy contraptions like weed eaters needed to keep everything looking trim, and the water wasted on keeping a lawn green, sheesh.

So there I am, communing with nature, getting my fingers dirty, talking to worms, and listening to the birds, just generally relaxing when the curse of nice weather rears its ugly head. The first warm breeze in the air invariably causes that species of human that I refer to as " Homo Penis lacking " to stick its butt ugly head out of its cave. Easily identifiable by the ball cap perched on their head(younger members of the species wearing in backwards emblazoned with ball teams and brand names while the more mature male usually has beer brand, farm machinery or trucking company apparel) behavioural patterns vary but all seem to centre around the creation of as much noise as possible.

The youngsters of the species seem more inclined towards mobility, propelling themselves around in contrivances designed for noise and speed. Multiple amplifiers and speakers combined with a bass setting guaranteed to sterilize at twenty paces reverberate across multiple city blocks. The body works rattle offsets the grinding of exhaust and squealing of tires that propels the vehicle at high speed from one red light to the next.

The older members of the species are more sedate, but compensate for the variety of means at their disposal for noise creation. There are two major categories of devices, of which there are many sub headings: Portable and stationary. Portable encompasses anything from an electric drill through to a lawn mower and include such lethal items as weed wakers, hedge trimmers, chain saws, leaf blowers, and a battery of cutting, hacking, bludgeoning, boring, and ripping tools(many available in the equally smelly gas powered variety) The stationary product is slightly less obtrusive in that it has to remain fixed in a den like location(usually referred to as a "garage" or "shed" sometimes even the more optimistically named "workshop" thus implying something useful is under way) but compensates with its abilities for destroying a wider range of materials and generating larger volumes: table and band saws, belt sanders, drill presses, and grinding benches graduate up to compressor driven nail guns and power washers.

After one week of May I'm already thinking with fondness of the cold dank days of January when the only tools at their disposal are acquainted with snow removal. Its amazing how less of a tool a tool is when they are tool-less.

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