Mid February is an odd time of the year.

It is too late to trim most fruit trees as they are by now starting to push buds for the start of spring next month and their sap is flowing.

And it is too early to trim the vines as late winter frost may still damage some canes.

Not much to do outdoors. Some routine work, some cleaning and sweeping, but overall more maintenance than progress. So I call mid-Feburary the down time.

But it is still a good time to turn the soil in the vineyard and in the vegetable garden. It is also a good time to trim and remove those plants that I don’t want. Which brings me to the rose bramble.

And which also brings to the real point of this post, even if I did so in a long and circuitous manner.

When I was young, my father would read me fairy tales at bed time. There are some fond and pleasant memories of my childhood there. These are personal. Far too personal to discuss here. But I also remember something else, less personal that I can share: how I really thought that the prince in Sleeping Beauty was kind of a wuss. There was his love. A beautiful and helpless damsel. And all that separated them were a bunch of rose bushes?

The child that I was could not fathom how a few rose bushes could even slightly hinder his progress to his true love. Rose bushes? Oh please. A man not worthy of a damsel in distress. In my opinion, Sleeping Beauty, I thought, if she had any common sense and had not been comatose at the time, really should have kept looking for a REAL MAN.

Of course the child self that was I at the time had only experienced the cultured, cultivated and socially accepted rose bush of the urban gardener. I had never seen a wild rose bramble. Like this:

Rose bramble

Rose bramble

Now being the proud caretaker of several properties, that were unfortunately neglected for far too many years before they were placed under my management, I now know what the prince must have experienced.

Not a rose bush, but a freakin' tree. And not "just" a tree, but a tree with spikes!

Not a rose bush, but a freakin’ tree. And not “just” a tree, but a tree with spikes!

Yes, now I know.

That prince was not a wuss. He was the bravest man on the planet. Take my thorn pierced body as evidence. Yes, I do indeed know the battle that prince took on. With every thick leather gloved pierced thorn…. I know.

Trust me.

I know.