We lost our backyard a few weeks back. I know this sacrifice is temporary, but it still stings a little. The dog seems a little depressed without her home turf, and I may have cried a little as we chopped our beloved tree into bits. Let me take a moment here to remember Hojalito: we planted him in 2007 just after we bought the house. A 16 foot-tall, 2 1/2 inch caliper B&B Quercus phellos (willow oak), which we lovingly planted by hand, to grow and tower over our home and provide some much needed shade. But Hojalito quickly showed signs of iron chlorosis due to alkaline soil, and though we applied a chelated iron spray solution to his foliage, he never quite recovered and we decided to sacrifice him for our geothermal heat. So it goes.
Then the contractor #1 came in to rip out our fence and part of our neighbor’s (we have the kindest neighbor imaginable, by the way), and the backyard devastation was in full swing. A 30-ton drilling rig, taller than the house and quite noisy, spent 2 days drilling holes 200 feet into the earth (contractor #2). Something about the drilling: I didn’t really realize how messy it would be. It makes perfect sense: when you drill a hole in wood you get sawdust, so why would our backyard be any different. But neither Aaron nor I anticipated the limestone dust that would cover our entire backyard. As if our soil pH wasn’t high enough already! After that, contractor #3 came to trench the loops through the crawlspace and into our basement, and now our backyard is a muddy pit (hence the dog’s depression; we can’t let her out there unless we want muddy paw prints throughout the house). Hopefully contractor #4 will finish installing the ductwork soon, and then contractor #1 can come in and put our backyard back in order.