I had heard from several friends that there was a lot of garden mulch around town that was free for the taking. The “free” part of that bargain was the first thing that caught my interest the second was that it was natural mulch gleaned from the commercial trimming of trees, bushes, and shrubs. Now I will admit to taking the easy route and purchasing “bagged” mulch from time to time…yeah, I know, shame on me. However, I really preferred natural mulch since, in my opinion, it does a better job of keeping those nasty weeds at bay and it seems to last a whole lot longer than the easy to obtain bagged type.
Therefore, when it reached a point where the weeds growing in our gardens were knocking on the front door, it was clearly time to go in search of the Holy Grail…er, a…free mulch. I had remembered seeing huge mulch piles in the open fields around town, which were generated by the City’s Brazilian Pepper Eradication Program. That little bit of information triggered a wee little voice in my wee little brain to say, “Hey dum-dum…call your friend who works for the City.” I sent an email instead of calling, that way I would have any directions in writing. In no time at all, she had responded saying, “Not sure if you want to travel this far, but if you will get in your car and drive four blocks east, you will wind up at the county park where there is a huge pile of, “free for the taking”, mulch. Think you can handle that without getting into too much trouble”. Hmmm, I wonder if she’s been talking to my wife Ann.
As you probably have figured out, I am not a big fan of weeding and mulching. So far, I had been successful in stalling off the inevitable, but when I arrived at the breakfast table one morning and found a few fresh, crispy, weeds piled on my plate, it was clear someone was about to put an end to my stalling. I turned to Ann and said, “Ya know, today just might be a good day to get some of that awesome, free mulch” to which she responded, “Ya think!” So we loaded the Yukon up with a bunch of buckets, three old recycle bins, a shovel and rake, and headed off on our four block trek to the park down the road. It didn’t take long at all to find the “free for the taking” mulch pile, it was in a bin made up of what appeared to be some type of landscape timbers. The pile was brownish in color, and had the same appearance and texture as, well, mulch.
Now, I am not the most trusting soul around, but other people’s gags have still burned me on occasion. In this case, I could just picture myself saying “But officers, I was told it was free for the taking” as they shoved me in the backseat of a police cruiser. Therefore, we made a quick stop at the park office and Ann went in to double check. I guess she thought that would be easier than having to come up with bail money to get me out of jail. As it turns out, this time my friend wasn’t setting me up, the mulch was indeed free for the taking. Wow, what a bargain.
As we were loading up our containers, we both felt as though we were being watched, almost as if we had an audience. After a quick look around, the only thing we discovered were several dragonflies sitting atop the pile watching our every move. At first, it seemed a little eerie, but the more we thought about it the more we decided it was pretty cool. So while Ann was slaving away loading up containers I got my camera out of our vehicle…hey, you know I never go anywhere without a camera, and started snapping pictures. I was enjoying myself and getting some pretty cool shots when I was abruptly jolted out of my happy little world by Ann’s very succinct statement.
“I just joined the Mulch Shovelers Union and as of this moment, I’m on strike…shovel your own mulch”
Aaaaa, me thinks it’s time to swap my photographers hat for a mulch shovelers hat.
Scarlet Skimmer Dragonfly
Golden-Winged Skimmer Dragonfly
Another great adventure comes to an end. It doesn’t get any better than this…well, unless you’re talking about finding a gold nugget in your bucket of free mulch. That might just be a step up from this story. That might just be a step up from this story.
I guess as we travel the road of life, we can never be really sure which way the road will turn…one thing’s for certain though, if you’re digging in a pile of free mulch always tuck your pants into your boots or you might have a few unwelcome guests crawling up your legs.
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