|The fireplace, when I moved in.
When I moved into this house last fall, the former owners had been burning in the backyard. There was an outdoor fireplace nearby that was completely full and covered with ivy. Obviously, no one had burned or barbecued anything in the fireplace for many, many years. I would much rather burn in the fireplace than the middle of the yard, and that meant digging out decades of ashes and plants (click on a picture to enlarge). I had boxes and yard debris of my own, and since I couldn't burn in the fireplace, the burn pile grew even higher.
|The outdoor fireplace and the burn pile, as it stands now.
|The outdoor fireplace, half-way dug out.
Thing 3 started digging out the fireplace, and I've been working on it when I get home from work. I could have finished it in one evening, but it's hard work digging out the roots that grew deep into the compacted ashes ... and ... it's boring! In addition, when I'm digging out ashes from the 1950's, I look around and see poison ivy that needs to be sprayed and a slew of other outdoor chores that need attended to. Since the fireplace isn't a priority, I wander off and take care of other more important chores. The fireplace and ashes aren't going anywhere (unfortunately).
|The burn pile, ready to grow grass (and weeds).
The burn pile in the yard was heaped high with ashes, half-burned logs, and metal objects. It looked very unsightly, so before I started working on the fireplace last night, I cleared the unburned/half-burned debris from the burn pile and spread out the ashes. Before long grass (i.e., weeds) will start growing and the burn pile will be history.
There is a lot of ivy growing in the backyard, and I'd like to thin the woods near the yard somewhat. According to the previous owner, who grew up there and inherited the house from her parents, the backyard was once a lot bigger. As the kids grew up, and her parents aged, the woods began creeping ever closer to the house. I like the woods, but I'd like a little more yard. We'll weed-eat the ivy and weeds in the woods and cut down the smaller trees. My chainsaw isn't working, so that project is on hold for now. Lucky for me (said sarcastically) ... there's plenty of things to do while I decide to buy/rent/borrow a chainsaw.
But one day, we'll have the fireplace and backyard cleaned up and we'll be able to cook smores and hot dogs as we sit around the fire(place).