When we had five large trees removed from our back yard, we saved the branches and twigs for making mulch, piling them up along the outside of the back fence.
Yesterday, while I was shopping, Tom got the wood chipper out and started making his way through the piles of brush, a.k.a. snake havens. He discovered a copperhead in the pile, baring its fangs at him. After beating it senseless, he cut it's head off with the loppers. Then when Harry finished barking at the lifeless body, the chickens ate it for lunch.
This morning I put the mulch into my two new flower beds, which are ready to receive all manner of greenery. I put a plant called "catmint" in this one (to the right of the birdbath). I guess it is called catmint for a reason, because Jasper cat would not leave it alone. I finally had to wack her when she broke a stem off of a nearby plant because of her crazy rolling around.
I continued this informal flagstone pathway a little further to edge the flower bed and filled it in with mulch. I had intended to put red hydrangeas in the back of this bed, but found some Niko Blues on sale a few days ago. I'm not sure if my soil is acidic enough to keep them blue, but I guess I'll find out next summer.
This is as far as I got today. I'm not going to have enough to make the pathway actually go anywhere, so I need to figure out what I'm going to do from here.
This is the third black widow spider that I've found in the pile of flagstone. This one, the smallest of the three, is scuttling up under the nearest rock to get away from me after I uncovered her lair. Before I realized that they were there, one got carried from the pile to the path and I even held the stone up against my hip for support. Ack! There are probably more, but I am wearing gloves and checking all sides of the rocks before picking them up. There was a day when I wouldn't have gone within 20 feet of a place that I thought might contain a black widow spider.