What you see in this picture is something you couldn't see in this part of our yard for most of the past three years: the ground.
Ever since that fateful day in March 2010 when I answered a posting on Freecycle offering a load of cement pavers, this part of our yard has been home to a stack of bricks about three feet high, six wide, and two deep. After a while we got so used to it that we more or less stopped noticing it was there; it just sort of blended into the landscape. And even after most of the pavers finally made their way into our new patio a month ago, the pile didn't entirely disappear; in fact, it actually spread out more, as the bricks we'd rejected due to defects of various kinds formed a secondary pile, much untidier than the first, next to what remained of the original stack.
But no longer. As of today, the pavers that we've decided are still usable (for some potential future project as yet to be determined) are neatly stacked against the back wall of our shed, forming a pile four bricks deep, five wide, and nine high. The ones that we've deemed too badly damaged to use are in a smaller stack next to our trash barrel, where they can be added by ones and twos to each load of garbage as we put it out for pickup. And the ground where the brick pile once stood is ground once again—a bit bare, perhaps, since nothing green could have survived three years without seeing the sunlight, but at the rate the weeds in our yard spread, the bare patch will be covered over in no time.
So that's two of the four piles left over from our patio project gone, and two still left to deal with: the big pile of dirt excavated from under the patio, much of which will no doubt go into smoothing out the new slope we built up around its edges, and the pile of concrete chunks left over from the demolition of the old concrete slab, which will...well, we'll think of something. But bit by bit, our yard is finally starting to look like a yard again, rather than a recently abandoned construction site. I actually have hopes that before fall comes, we may get it to the point where the whole yard finally looks better with the new patio than it looked without it.