Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Mowing the lawn around here is...one of those things. It can be a joy for a mom. Sitting on the riding mower for a couple of hours may be the only quiet, uninterrupted time I get. (That, and because I'm the one who worries most about the details, like trim mowing, is why I prefer to do it rather than to hand it off to a minion!) It can also be a necessary evil. Especially at the beginning of the mowing season.

Getting started on mowing season can be a challenge. At the beginning of the season, the mower is in storage. Often it's in the hay tent. This year, the hay tent was, well, full of hay, so it spent the winter on a pallet, covered with a tarp. Some of you would consider that abusive, but it started on the first try. Our John Deere is usually very dependable. Even when, most years, the gas lines are clogged with ladybugs. Those little buggers will get in anywhere to spend a sheltered winter. Getting it out of storage this year was complicated by the amount of water we had. See, the pallet was on one of the edges of those "creeks" I shared pictures of with you earlier in the spring. It was surrounded by water for much of the time. When things began drying, it was surrounded by mud. Finally, last weekend, it could come out and play.

The first mowing is also a challenge because of the length of the grass. Spring rains cause lush growth. This year, with so much water, we had upwards of 18" of growth in some areas! It was quite the jungle experience! I felt like a machete would have been useful sometimes. While our mower is dependable, it is also aging. Long grass wreaks havoc on the mower deck, and several of my breaks were more for the mower than the operator.

And the long grass hides many WMDs; Weapons of Mower Destruction. Most of the ones I encountered were invisible to me until they had had a chance to seek out and destroy. For example, this rock

went unseen until the blades flung it about six feet. Fortunately, the mower continued on like nothing had happened. (The rock looks deceptively small in the picture; it's about 8"x6".)

There was the incident of the dog's duck.

Again, no trouble for the tractor. But the dog has less duck to play with now. The boys built this gun some years ago, and it was left in the yard by a grandchild, I'm guessing. It has played it's last Guns Game.

I don't even know where this metal rod came from.

I was glad for our middle soldier, though. He uncomplainingly dragged me out when I got the tractor buried in mud; again, invisible until I was too far in it to back out. And he rescued me, again uncomplainingly, when these boards

made their appearance about midday. They were buried in long grass, and one ended up wedged in the mower blades. Getting it out was quite the process, but it was done quickly. Thanks, Matthew. (Notice the pile of unsplit wood? No comment. Just notice it.)

I don't even know where they came from. I know Mary put them away when I asked her to, last month, after she worked with Wakiya on "not being afraid of wood in the lawn." Because wood is always in the lawn around here! Isn't it that way at your house?


Elephantschild said...

I shouldn't be laughing, but I am.

What sort of duck? The carcass of a real duck?

Melody said...

No. A fluffy, stuffed duck. Not stuffed anymore!

Elephantschild said...

R.I.P dear duck.

Cheryl said...

My friend, Pioneer Woman has nothing on you.

Mossback Meadow said...

Did your dad not teach you to walk the yard before you start mowing? : )

What I love is when husband(he's anal about his mower blades) is out doing something in the yard and I'm on the mower. There is the loud noise of something being hit and then a slight pause as I glance up to see if he's looking. If I was a comedian I would come up with a name for that pause...

Elephantschild said...

We sure as apple pie can't call it a "pregnant pause!"

Melody said...

No, actually, he wasn't one for mowing at all, and would just send us out to do it. Ironically, I did learn to walk the yard. But this time, there was no walking; the grass was so long that I would never have seen anything, anyway. Those two boards? I walked over them just that morning on the way to feed the critters; didn't konw they were there, because of the length of the grass!