Watering the Backyard or Exercise – as if I have a choice

If given a choice between watering the backyard and regular exercise, I’d rather lift weights and do cardio exercises for an hour and then take a one-mile walk on nearby streets.

Heck, to avoid watering the yard, I’d walk two miles a day.

The reason is simple: watering the backyard is exercise that involves a lot of climbing.  We live on a hillside. Our house is surrounded by HUGE oak trees and the largest one behind the house is about 400 years old.  The circumference of this ancient oak tree is twenty feet.


below the tree from the house

Imagine what would happen to a raw egg if you stepped on it with all your weight. If that old oak tree decides to fall on the house, the house would be that egg. Don’t get me wrong. That tree is majestic. It is breathtaking to see, and the wild bees that live in some of its hollow limbs love it too.

Besides, where we live, the law says, “No person shall cut down, destroy or remove any tree(s) growing within the City limits from any property without a tree removal permit, except as provided herein.”

I don’t want to go into detail about what it takes to get a permit to cut down a four hundred year old oak tree like the old goat in our backyard. However, the fine for cutting (what the city calls a Civil Penalty) that tree down without permission would be about $43,000 and that might include six months in jail. In other words, it is okay for that tree to crush our house and us in it, but it is not okay for us to cut down that tree.


from street to driveway – top > down

Back to climbing stairs—there are four flights of stairs leading from the street to the top of backyard for a total of ninety-nine steps.


from driveway to second story front door – top > down

The one stairway inside the house from the ground floor to the second story has thirteen steps. Using that stairway to represent one story means that climbing from the street to the top of the backyard equals climbing a seven-and-a-half-story building that does not have an elevator or escalator.


stairway inside house – top > down

Why all the effort to water a yard? Because the yard has an elaborate drip system with five valves scattered around the slope.  To water the yard takes about three hours and five trips to turn the valves on and another five trips to turn the valves off.


first flight of stairs behind house – bottom > up

However, only fifty-three steps are used during watering, which means climbing 530 steps—equal to climbing the stairs of a forty-story building.


second flight of stairs behind house – top > down (the last one)

Then there is putting out the trash. To do that requires climbing another 50 steps or about four stories.

Today I put out the trash and watered the yard, so I climbed a forty-four story building. I’d rather lift weights but if I let the plants in the yard die, well, I’d never hear the end of it.

Am I complaining?  Yes!

Should I be? No!

Anyway, enough procrastination (about four hours worth – maybe more). I have to get back to work editing and revising my next novel.

Discover the Sunday Hike (within walking distance of this backyard)

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Sunday Hike – May 13, 2012

entering the regional park at 8 AM in the morning – the park runs for miles through the hills –  it’s a climb to get in and a climb to get out.

climbing the trail to the high country

fallen tree blocks the trail up – we have to climb around it to reach the trail on the other side.

on the high side of the fallen tree looking back

on the high trail far above a grade school in the valley below

the high trail

the high trail continues to climb

stopping to take in the vista

look closer – in the center of the photo is a distant pond and there are cattle near it – the first of three ponds we will see on this hike

if you click on the photo, that may cause it to expand and fill your screen – it works that way on my desktop

 the dark green that looks as if it were brush are huge, distant oak trees

 the camera’s battery was running low so I saved the last few shots for the ravine and creek in the low country far below the high trail

the second pond – the largest of the three

a set of stairs – look between the trees

what I call the low country is a ravine with a creek bed running through it – after a heavy rain, it is often flooded – this shot is near the exit and then we will start climbing again

the third pond as we continue to climb out of the valley toward the end of the hike

there are many oak trees of this size – soon we will be back to where we started

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”