That means day-by-day updates on my preparations for my Dead Thing Driveway and progress towards my annual Halloween BBQ and development of this year’s Halloween goody bags.
In other words, it’s time to get ready for Halloween!
The first step came yesterday, where I went out and spent two hours in the front of the home trimming back various landscaping hazards and impediments.
My rocked over pond had been invaded by weeds. Extraordinary, the indomitability of Mother Nature. There is no soil in that area, just bags and bags of rocks piled on top of each other. Still, weeds found purchase in those rocks and flourished under the very wet summer we’ve had.
Then there were those twin driveway trees (JMD designation: “tree” and “tree, other”). While they provide great opportunity for spiders to build their webs from the branches to my car and also give the squirrels leaping access from my roof and garden, they create a problem for my displays by raining leaves and other stuff into them.
The “natural accessorization” didn’t bother me much in my display last year, as I was using mulch and the droppings tended to fold in. With the switch to styrofoam blocks this year, I would prefer not to have to do as much picking out of loose foliage.
Finally, there was the other deadly invasion – weeds forming a fence line (literally) between my hedge and my fence. The awkwardness of the location of this mini-forest made it difficult for proper defoliation. Unconscionable that the community lawn care doesn’t take care of that (add it to my list of HOA issues).
Five large waste bags later and the deed was done. I was hoping we would get a heavy rain to wash off the “miscellaneous” remains, but we only got enough rain to make it stick stubbornly to the driveway.
Next steps (today) are to wait until midday (or afternoon) and, once dry, sweep the driveway clear of the remains so as to get started on setup tomorrow.
Based on my mental roadmap, I will work the south side of the driveway, which is the Animal Control section. In my head, I see this as laying out the edging stones first, then placing the styrofoam blocks. I may wait a bit to see if the blocks will resist cross winds before placing the Dead Things down.
I’ll likely hold off wiring them into the styrofoam until I see the display full-on. Getting the Animal Control skeleton to stand is probably going to be the most challenging aspect of the display. Second most challenging will be figuring out how to keep him standing in the face of the elements. I’ve not solved that problem theoretically, yet, so it’s likely to be more of an OTJ training solution.
I’m also going to try to figure out how to take video of the whole blamed process. From what I read, there is no native way to “pause” iPhone video, so I’ll see what kind of apps are out there for that (though I have no intention of buying one – you can just deal with multiple short videos instead of one long one).
I anticipate most of my Dead Thing stock to be used on just this one side, so I see next week as the earliest I can work on the north side of the driveway (after I’ve ordered in more Dead Things from Amazon). On the positive side, I’ll at least get to park my car by the house for another week!