Our back yard is surrounded by some tall pines that keep the burning afternoon sun off our house. Unfortunately it also cloaks our back yard in shade for most of the day. A few years ago our neighbor lost a big hemlock that almost took out our back deck when it fell over during a windstorm. We decided to cut down a hemlock that was growing a little too close to our house, and a pine that was on our lot -- we didn't want to worry about another storm blowing them over. As a result our once shaded yard is now dappled with light. There's enough light coming in that a rhody that was dormant is coming back. A lilac that was bent over to reach the sun is now sending shoots straight up. Even the grass is returning. So yesterday after Paul cleaned the house and made dinner for my mom and me (mom and I? Me and my mom?) he snapped some pics of our backyard. Enjoy!