Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pushing Back the Snake Line

by Pa Rock
Country Gentleman

I haven't seen any snakes on my place - yet.  But with ten acres, nearly half of which is untamed with tall grasses and weeds, I know they are out there.  My defense against these slithering and sinister serpents is to keep the yard mowed as low as possible so that if Mr. Blacksnake decides to drop in for a meal at the chicken coop, the girls and I will be able to spot him coming.  And I certainly don't want Mr. Copperhead to have easy access to the house or any other inhabited part of the farm.

So every time I mow I take out another foot or so of the weeds to make a bigger yard and provide more protection.  (Of course, it also creates more to mow.)  I call this bit of manifest destiny "pushing back the snake line."

I just finished mowing the back yard for the second time since returning from Oregon.  The other time I used a push mower to battle the yard that had gotten out of control during my road trip to the coast.   The grass was so thick that I had to constantly shut down the mower and remove the clumps of grass from under the deck.  When I finished, those clumps had become the predominant feature of the yard.  The back yard alone took more than a dozen hours to complete.

Today, on my new rider, I knocked out the back yard in a little over two hours - and it looks like a golf course.  Between the two mowings I pushed the snake like back more than two feet.  Little by little the wilderness is being tamed.

(I do understand the importance of keeping some of the land in a natural state for the propagation of wild life.  Yesterday I saw my first bunny at the farm - and while he was hopping across my front yard when I spotted him, I know that Mr. Bunny is undoubtedly a child of the weeds.  I have also seen a wild turkey taking a leisurely stroll across the property, and the conditions look good for quail.  I've been told that the deer will be so thick as to be pests, but so far I haven't seen any.  Mr. Groundhog is still at home in the barn - I saw him scooting across the freshly mowed grass this morning.)

The only other big news at the farm this week is that my little guineas, who are a little less than two weeks old, are learning to fly.  They grow up so fast!

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