Two big things almost off the spring to-do list. Sunday was the local street-cleaning work day and all the neighborhood men-folk get together to clear debris from the mountain road and make sure the water is flowing clog free. For many of the men though, it is just a chance to chill, chat and stand around. If you don’t drive a big truck or back-hoe, or own a he-man-sized chain-saw there is not really much work.
For me this is the day that all my neighbors get together and help me get fire wood. Especially this year, after the big snow, there were a lot of big trees that needed to be cut and cleared. No one uses the wood for anything, so it is all mine for the taking. Tomorrow I drive up and collect all logs which they so nicely cut to lengths that would fit in my car.
I would have gone to get them today, but it was a beautiful day for spreading compost into the rice field. It is not such a difficult job, but it takes all day simply because our field is so long and there is only one place the manure delivery-man can make the dump. The wheelbarrow can’t hold very much so I end up walking back and forth one-hundred times. We then have to spread each load out as evenly as possible.
I tried to cut down on the number of back-and-forth trips by using the rear-car I found in the garbage dump a few years ago. Using this and buckets I can carry about four times the compost each trip. Unfortunately, I found that the tires were flat after the winter, and I don’t know when the next time I will be in town to get new tubes or tires, so I had the brilliant idea of filling them with rice husks. It worked well for about ten trips before I gave up and started using the wheelbarrow. While it takes longer, I found that the lighter load allowed me to take in the amazing view from our field as I walked. Its good to be reminded that more efficient is not always better.
Mona and Tomoe joined me for part of the day and Mona was all too happy to torture frogs and this, the larve of a stag beetle -something else that, if we were to put effort into it, could be a business in itself as the adult beetles are quite expensive in Tokyo pet-stores. I already have a bucket full of thirty or so of these guys in my front entrance that the neighbor’s grandson gave me, and there were a hundred or so in the back-yard from last year that have or will hatch if I have not killed them.