“The key to a nice-looking lawn is a good mower. I recommend one who is muscular and shirtless!” –anonymous beefcake admirer–
Well, I don’t think I qualify as that sort of lawn mower, but I somehow manage to get motivated enough to push the machine around the yard once each week during the warmer months of the year. The warmer time of the year just moved into Norfolk, Nebraska late yesterday morning. I had noticed that the yard animals were getting lost in the overgrowth of my yard. It’s mostly grass out there, but like most tenant’s yards, I can’t really call it a lawn. There’s mostly grass, but also other sorts of plants in the mix. The identities of many are a mystery to me. Dandelions, foxtails, some sort of ground ivy and buffalo grass. But hey! No crabgrass anywhere in sight.
I don’t use chemicals in the yard for a few reasons. Most importantly, the property is adjacent to a river, so I’m dead set against poison runoff on my account.
Sometimes I like to harvest some of the plant life to use in salads. Very young dandelion sprouts are delicious in a romaine lettuce salad…use them sparingly, though, as dandelions have laxative qualities. I also enjoy using sheep showers clover leaves in a spring salad…they have a delicate salty-sweet flavor. The previous tenant had planted a patch of chives. I like chives in many dishes. They’re perfect in South Indian recipes also Thai soups and salads. A yummy treat is cottage cheese with snips of chives mixed into it.
Another reason to not poison the yard is the wildlife. I am privilaged to share my space with the occasional wood duck, a few families of tree squirrels, and rabbits. There’s a solitary hoot owl who makes himself known at night. Woodpeckers, finches, cardinals, a golden hawk and best of all, blue jays. I’ve encountered opposums, beavers and a couple of very shy foxes. The creatures enjoy my yard because it’s natural. The neighbors who use a chemical lawn service have far fewer yard critters to enjoy.
Because I live fairly close to the city limits, I can enjoy the benefits of town life coupled with the serenity of a rural locale. This blend is something I highly treasure. Still, since I live in town, I do need to abide by city regulations. I also like to keep the yard reasonably tidy regardless of ordinances. Walking around the yard with the mower takes care of that need.
Since the mower is a corded electric model, I must avoid wet grass surfaces, for the health of the mowers. Mechanical and human. With the arrival of the much warmer air, on the back of severe winds, I wanted to take advantage of my first “window of opportunity”. Rain is forecast over the weekend, so use of the electric machine would be a no go. If I let the yard go much longer, I’d need to organize search parties for the baby squirrels and blue jay fledglings. If there’s something you don’t want to do, it’s to get on the wrong side of momma blue jays. They can get rather aggressive if they don’t like you. Luckily, jays and this blogger are allies.
I guess this means I’ll be making weekly treks into the yard with mower and electric trimmer for the next few months. My attitude will improve as I get used to the routine, again.
The Blue Jay of Happiness says, there’s one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbors’.