Good Fences Make good neighbors

According to Robert Frost. I never truly understood that until living next door to a weasel.

Here's the deal. We have a row of willows growing along the front third of our property line, planted a few years ago to block the view of the cement retaining wall of the house next door (a hideous, ugly house that we suspect will get toxic mold pretty soon since it went up so fast and so cheaply). The willows are austrees, and if you prune them properly they make a nice thick hedge - a pretty one that has the added advantage of acting as a noise barrier. If you keep them topped off, it's even better.

But we live next door to a weasel. His name is James D. Koutsoukos, and he's a dentist (he's so icky I always though he was a used car salesman or something) with an office on Main Street in Stamford, CT. (The thought of this weasel getting anywhere near my face makes me want to vomit. He's so ignorant it makes me wonder how he got through an American dental school. He probably went to dental school in Turkey.)

One year the weasel attacks the austrees, hacking off all the lower branches that would let them fill out. Last year he hacked off the tops and every branch on his side of the property line. Though Stanley was pretty steamed, he did not beat the weasel into a bloody pulp and restrained me from doing so.

About a week ago, the weasel came over and told us he was having tree people come over and trim the trees on his property and, as long as they were there, could he ask them to top and trim the austrees. Tree people, Stanley thought, would know how to do it properly. So he said okay, but top and trim only.

Today we went to brunch with our friend Helene, stopping at the doomed* Orem's Diner for brunch and then heading into Young's Nursery to get started on our gardens. We dropped Helene off at her daughter's house and had a lovely drive past the Aspetuck Reservoir. A pleasant day. Until we pulled into our yard.

The weasel had a couple of men at work hacking the austrees. They were not tree trimmers - they're lawn guys, you know, the guys who do a great job mowing the lawn and getting rid of the leaves but don't know squat about pruning or trimming trees. They'd already hacked up half of them. The pictures below don't do much justice to the crime unless you know what the trees looked like before and what they're supposed to look like. They supposed to look like a nice, full hedge by now. But the weasel keeps destroying them. In these pictures, too, you can't see the torn barks and ripped up trunks where they hacked through instead of getting a pruning saw and doing it properly.



So, that's it. We've had enough. We're going to call the surveyor in and have him mark our property line (with dayglo tape, I insist) and then bite the bullet and put up as high a fence as we can get away with here in Norwalk (I think it's eight feet), and plant bamboo in front of the fence - down the entire property line (I think it's 160 feet or something like that). We'll try to find fencing with as ugly an away side as possible to give Weasel Koutsoukos something to really make his day.

* Orem's Diner is doomed because the powers that be decided it was more important to put in a highway down Route 7 between Danbury and the Norwalk extension than it was to do anything remotely far sighted or decent such as preserve what little heritage is left along that stretch. Orem's is too close to the road, so it's going to be gone. What really makes it such a crime is that stretch runs parallel to a commuter line - the Danbury extension of Metro North. Could they possibly do something to make it attractive to the SUV hogs to use public transportation? Out of the question - the morons of Fairfield County MUST use their cars ...
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