it was darker than english moss

So I came out here to my parents' house Sunday afternoon with the intention of helping do some yardwork. I was aware that the job description included planting a tree. I'm cool with that. I like trees, and I could get some pictures taken for my press kit, with my hands all dirty, shoving a blue spruce into the soil. What I didn't realize was that my mother, apparently having watched too much in the way of History Channel espionage specials, would find it appropriate for us to conduct this tree-planting raid (in our own yard, mind you) under cover of darkness.

I guess it started out innocently enough. We ate dinner a little bit late, and the sun goes down a little bit earlier now than it used to. So it was already starting to threaten twilight when we got out to start the job. We set out with a pitchfork, a couple different shovels, and some compost, in hopes of getting a big enough hole dug before the sun disappeared.

Of course the ground is incedibly dry because we haven't had that much rain lately, and the soil underneath our feet out here is essentially 100 percent clay, so it was hard work. That's okay, I can take hard work, especially when I can get some photos for my press kit out of it. But in addition to being hard, it was, as you might imagine, rather time-consuming. And there wasn't much time left to be had. Soon we were hurling rock-hard soil chunks at dusk.

Night continued to creep up and I presumed we would be postoponing the planting until the following day, but my mother apparently had some vision of us getting the thing in there and blowing the neighbors' minds ("Jackie, I swear that tree wasn't there yesterday before the sun went down! What happened? They've got the magic yard!"). So, we continued working, no longer able to see what exactly we were digging up and where we were flinging it. The gnats were there to accompany us, as is evidenced by my pink, bumpy neck and arms.

So there we were. My mother grabbed a battery-powered flourescent lantern which didn't shed much light but did add to the impression that we were completely mad and possibly lost on our way to Dr. Frankenstein's place. I stabbed at the earth with my pitchfork. We continued to dig until the hole was deep enough.

We carried the tree up, managed to get it out of its container and lowered it into the hole, all without aid of the sun. We filled in the hole around it with some mixture of compost and the earth we had just displaced, lacking any natural light to assist.

And in the morning, there it was. And no one knew how it got there but us.

High five, Mom.