The dirt gardener came back. So I guess this is the new routine for my postage stamp yard, courtesy my landlady and the dirt gardener: for four weeks I try to grow stuff and sweep up all the tree blossoms and leaves, and then one day a month he'll come by and weed-eater everything back down to dirt for me, sweep up the tree blossoms and put all the trimmings into my greenwaste bucket.
Okay, you know what? Since it's just going to be dirt every four weeks anyway, I'll stop putting out any effort to get stuff to grow. And I'll stop digging up the bracken and other native plant volunteers which grow so well without me adding water.
I was working in the home office and after I listened to the beheading of the grass I heard "thunk... thunk... thu-thonk! Thunk..." I ran outside. The dirt gardener was taking my rocks! He'd loaded most of them into his pick-up!
"Hey! Those are my rocks!"
"Um... djew wan' t'em?"
"Yes! I like them!"
"Um... Okay." He started to look around for where to put them. Apparently back in the yard according to my artful arrangement wasn't going to work for him. "Where put?"
"Here, put them in this." I pulled over a plastic 55 gallon bucket one of the kids dragged home from somewhere. We unloaded my rocks from his truck, and then we picked up the rest of them from the yard. They only filled the bucket halfway.
Except for the few that were already on the property when we moved in, these are my rocks. I collected them. I salvaged them from other people's cast-offs. The mere fact that I invested effort makes them more valuable than they were before. I play with them, I stack them up, they fall down, I stack them up again. They're mine. Hands off my rocks!
On the other hand, here I am all worked up over rocks.