I've almost finished preparing my yard for Spring. This has been a very warm week so almost every bit of snow has melted and the permafrost has receded - except in the shaded areas. Luckily, my the front of my house faces south and it's a corner house so there is no one on the east side, so the snow left quickly.
I was watching a neighbor use her rake to clean her yard and saw another neighbor cleaning his yard with the same style of rake. I have two rakes, one is the typical bow rake and the other is a fan rake. Both have been mangled by my boys over the Winter. If they were newer rakes I suppose I'd've cared, but they were old and rusty and needed to be replaced anyway. As I watched the neighbors I wondered where they bought their rakes. I could see that they could pick up lots of garbage, sticks, rocks and dog poop with this style of rake and have wanted one since I've had my own yard to maintain. Oddly, I've never thought to buy one though. I didn't know what to call the rake and couldn't find it online, but when I went to Canadian Tire - there it was! It's called a dethatching rake and boy does it work well :)
It took me three hours yesterday to rake the front yard, boulevard and side yard. Today it took an hour and a half to do the driveway, garbage area and half of the back yard. I still have about 400 sq ft in the back yard to rake, but there is still snow on the grass so it'll have to wait. I also cleaned up all the bits of plastic and broken handles/rakes in the yard so at least it looks neater. The cords for the cars are also neatly tucked away in the shed until next Winter. Poor waste collectors now have over twenty garbage bags of dead grass & crap to take, as well as a bundle of rake/mop handles, two sleds, a bag of broken plastic bits (that's for the recycling truck) and an old bike. I really hope they take the bike. I don't want to lug it to the Eco Station myself.
I finished the raking yesterday just as it started to rain. And it was a good dumping rain, too. I figure there is a better likelyhood of the ground absorbing the rain if I get all the dead leaves and grass out of the way, so I was happy to get the majority of it done in time for the rain. In the morning the raked grass looked like yellow, combed fur :)
Interestingly, my nose was drippy while I was raking...and so were my eyes! I didn't expect that at all. Well, the runny nose maybe, but not the eyes. It is possible that I have a slight allergy to the snow mould or grass. I was stirring up an awful lot of stuff in the ground. I don't do the raking every year, only when I feel like it. I have noticed the lawn looks much better when it's done, but some years it's just too much work to bother, you know?
On a different note, the rainfall was heavy enough last night that I heard an odd dripping noise coming from inside a wall. It turns out water has been coming in beside my chimney on the roof and it was dripping on a heating duct. There is also a crack in the tar under the shingles on the other side of the roof. The landlord saw that when he stopped by recently and the snow was melting off the roof. Instead of the water going into the eavestrough it was going down the side of the house. I don't know if the chimney leak and the tar leak are the same thing, but I think my roof is going to need some major repairs soon.