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So with college over, and a job starting in July, all I had to do was relax, right? This had been my plan, but once I got home, one of my friends called me up and asked me if I was doing landscaping again this year. I hadn't planned on it, but I did realize it would bring in some needed money, and I was sure that a lot of previous clients would want more work done. Plus, this guy needed money, and he wanted to start doing it on his own, so I figured I should hand my business off to someone. Needless to say, I started the whole process one last time.
This time around, we tried to get bigger jobs, give more aggressive estimates, and do more work ourselves. These three things all contributed to making it the biggest cash grab experience of my landscaping career. We worked many many big jobs and finished them all in record time. It was very common for me to land over $200 per day in under-the-table cash. Chris, my partner this summer, was a great worker and ruthless businessman. The money was big help in easing my transition to Madison.
A majority of the work we did was, as always, weeding and mulching. Basically that means taking this:

And turning it into this:

However, we also took several more interesting jobs this summer that involved fun things like taking down huge trees with several obstacles in the way. This meant climbing the tree and chainsawing it into little pieces, then letting them fall down to the ground. Here's a pic of me getting started, and another of me caught in the rain while up in the tree:

Since you can only climb so high, the topmost part of the tree is always the biggest. Since we had so many obstacles down below (fences, power lines, etc) we had to tie the top piece of the tree to the rest of the tree so it wouldn't fall too far. That of course meant that I needed to be on the other side so it didn't squish me. Here are a couple pics of me preparing the rope:

And here's a sequence of pics of me actually 'topping' this tree:

It was really exhilerating to be up so high in the tree, especially with the terrific gusts of wind that would shake me around. Also, having the chainsaw tied around my ankle made it even more fun. At one point, while I was climbing the tree, the chainsaw started by accident (it was electric) and cut a bit into my stomach. It almost immediately turned off, so I had only a few tooth marks across my abs, but it still scared the shit out of me. Once the tree was on the ground, it was just a matter of cutting it into smaller pieces that could be carried to the road:

Another cool little job we got was to replace an old gothic style fence with a new split wood fence. We had to do this without destroying a tree which had grown into and depended on the old fence for support. If you'll notice, there is also the subtle detail of hiding the downspout behind the bottom post. What do you think of our work:

The summer work was as brutal ever, so whenever we had a moment to relax, it required some ingenuity to be the most efficient. This is how we came up with the idea of Drunk Diving. We figured it would be really fun to go to public swim hours at the HS pool trashed as hell. We turned out to be right. Here's Nate doing his famous double somersault to faceplant dive:

Sadly, all of this messing around had to come to an end. On July 1st, I packed all of my gear into the back of my parents' minivan, and my dad and I left for Madison, Wisconsin, and an entirely new chapter of my life...

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