You Can’t Imagine What Was In There.

Posted: 9 April 2009 in Charlottesville, House, you've got to be kidding

If you consult my best friend the internet (hi sweetie) it will tell you that having a brush pile in your backyard is a good thing.  While scrolling beautiful Bambi-like wildlife pictures across the screen, it will try to seduce you with thoughts of precious little bunnies, flocks of whistling bluebirds and troops of smurfy, adorable critters who pass their time baking you muffins and draping you with ribbons. 

But the internet is also manipulative and sneaky and so it also makes all sorts of well reasoned arguments about being green, composting and saving the earth already.  It’s so persuasive and sly that I look at my very own brush pile and think “If I dismember that thing, it will be like killing thousands of tiny, adorable, big-eyed ladybugs.”

I had no idea that owning a house would mean coping with environmentally friendly brush piles or, as I like to call them, Deathtraps with a Vengeful Spirit and Nefarious Intent. 

This brush pile defies my eco-conscious imagination.  It has layers upon layers of leaves and branches.  At first I was excited about the dry leaves for compost.  Then, as we labored in the hot soul sucking sun, I was excited about the dry snapping branches for firewood.  Then, after we unearthed the first christmas tree, I was certain we were housing fleets of fast-footed bunnies.  Then, after the third and fourth evergreen, I basked in the idea that there might be terrific compost underneath all those wet, mucky leaves.  Just yesterday, I was delighted to see earth below the leaves.  At least, until I sank into it

Quicksand?  A mole hole?  Suddenly, I found myself more worried about snakes and spiders and other nasty biters than I was about disrupting a happy nest of finches.  I backed away from the trench I was abruptly in and reassessed.  Not only was I standing in what had once been some sort of small dimension warren, I was looking at loads and loads of yellow, compact…something…packed with largish holes swiss cheese holes.  Mold?  Insulation foam?  Fungus?  It broke apart, but didn’t disintegrate and looked, at times disturbingly, like masses of fur and wetness.  All of a sudden, it was less snakes and spiders and more hanta virus, norovirus, and what in the name of green living is that? 

It was a head, my friends.  Possum?  Mole?  Vole?  Rat?  A nest of rats?  A nest of rat babies?  A nest of anything?  I love nature as much as the next girl but once I saw that head I put down that rake faster than Bambi’s forest went up in flames. 

So now we’re left with a few unappealing options.  Leave the pile (absolutely not.  I suppose I don’t mind the concept of a brush pile, but I want it to be my brush pile.)  Break open the pile (spilling out whatever critters lurk beneath to find a new home.)  Or call in some sort of professional brush pile remover (I can only imagine explaining to them about the quicksand and, well, the head.)  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  1. Dylan says:

    Norovirus is nasty. Watch out. It just raged around my area and people were laid up for days.

    I am intrigued to learn more about this head. Was it the head of something alive, or more like a decaying skull? I vote for calling in the professionals. Decomposing vegetation is one thing and that’s nasty enough… decomposing who knows what from nature, no thanks. Call ’em in and start over with your own brush pile that way you’ll know full well what’s in it! GROSS!

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