I'm a bit tired today (and short on time), but fortunately, I have a story to show for it.
I've been digging up small trees for the past few days because they've been growing too close to the house. As I've progressed, I've discovered that the most problematic variety are the little walnut trees.
Because walnuts apparently have the most aggressive and overdeveloped root systems in all of nature. There were five or six rather small walnuts which, over the past few years, have developed interlinked root systems of borderline epic proportions.
It's like a Baby Walnut Mafia or something. These things had root systems bigger and tougher than they were (partly because they've managed to repeatedly come back from being cut down [!]). I dug up one central root mass of a sapling that was slightly bigger than my clenched fist (and I'm 6'3" barefoot, so I've got big hands).
In fact, that last one? It was attached to a root system (including a taproot that's still down there, waiting...) that was so involved, complex, and strong that when I put all my weight against the shovel to dig it up... the shovel broke. Granted, it was an old shovel...
Not to mention, the little so-and-sos are mixed in with all kinds of nasty weeds, primarily some dead burr-plants, which despite being dead still stuck burrs to me, and one particular one, when I grabbed it, stuck a quarter inch of splinter right through my glove and nestled it under my skin. (That was a few hours ago. Believe it or not, it stopped hurting in less than two hours, most of which I worked through. Don't worry-it was out of my hand in fifteen minutes.)
Anyway, I've been gaining a new appreciation for creepy, creepy plants out there.