Category Archives: Yard

Snow, finally, and a good neighbor to have

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We finally got a decent snowfall last night (4-5 inches of fluff) and it looks like it’ll stay around a while. Click photos to enlarge.


For many years, our neighbor to the north, Gary Schnobrich, has generously used his snowblower on our driveway after a heavy snowfall. He even waits till after the snowplows have gone by.

Plus, he blows a swath from his house south across our yard to the south to make it easy for us all to go back and forth, as well as for the postal workers to deliver the mail without having to go up and down each driveway.

I try to return the favor by lending him my mulching lawn mower in the warm months, but then he always gets one up on me by bringing over lots of vegetables from his garden in the fall.


Fall colors

Our neighbors to the north and west have maples that turn in the fall before any of ours do. We appreciate it! The photo in the center is taken from the second floor room where Robbie currently has her office, looking east at the tree in the left photo.

Trees (huge photos)

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Our trees do a lot of summer shading and add to overall attractiveness to the yard. The left photo is taken from the front steps and the right one from the corner of the backyard. Unlike some of the other outdoor photos I’ve posted which show the trees, these two thumbnails are linked to huge (2000 pixels wide) photos to give a better idea of their beauty.

Room to play

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Our back yard has plenty of room for yard games. It’s well-shaded, as you can see from these midday photos (click to enlarge) from last week. We’ve trimmed back the tree branches over the years to enable hard core badminton competition. Bocce ball, croquet, frisbee, whiffle ball, dodgeball, kickball… our yard has seen it all since we arrived with four kids way back in 1989.

We never quite got into the manicured lawn bit. Environmentalists? Not really, though we never treated it with chemicals for weeds. We just thought it was fine as-is. The kids could do whatever they wanted on it and we didn’t fret. During drought years, it was hardier than many of the manicured lawns. Plus, I never loved mowing so why try to get it to grow faster? As long as we could go barefoot on it, that was fine with us.


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Our yard has the usual assortment of southern Minnesota city-oriented wildlife: birds (robins, cardinals, sparrows, etc.) which we encourage with a feeder. We have crafty squirrels, of course, and the occasional amorous Mallard ducks in the spring who’ve taken a dip in the pool at times.