Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Saturday, March 13, 2010

grass, weeds, dirt, bugs, bunnies and gophers

when your house sits in the middle of 4 acres of dirt, grasses, weeds - and the southern california winter is unusually wet, you get a proliferation of green growth.  most of the dirt here is clay and holds the mositure for quite awhile, but when it dries, it is like cement.  boyd and i planted pepper trees around the perimeter this year, and the rain was perfect for them.  they are flourishing; all of the "babies" are full of newly sprouted growth.  fortunately magnet does not bother them very much.  pepper trees must not be very tasty.

we have cordoned off two areas for Magnet to roam.  He keeps one very close shaven, but the one in front is still quite tall.  He enjoys that pasture immensley.  We like to pretend we have a few areas that are actually "our yard".  They are nearest the house and I planted flowers, veggies,herbs, etc. and I keep it trimmed up and mostly neat. 

However, that leaves probably 2 1/2 acres of wildness.  I've been mowing for three days.  I have chosen to use the gas powered walking mower so I can get in some more exercise.  Surprisingly it is very tiring.  The sunshine and cool air have been great.  I've been getting tired muscles and a suntan.  Nice.  I feel accomplished when I stand back and look at the completed parts.  Most of the grass/weed mix is about shin high and is still pretty wet.  The mower bogs down often and when it stalls out I turn it over and scrape wet grass from the underbelly of the cutting machine.  The dogs love to eat that mess.  I put most of it in a pile to mulch.

The thicker portions of green are the most difficult to manage and yesterday I decided to do them later - and to attack the easiest areas first.  I need to see the accomplishment in order to keep my motivation up.  Constantly banging away at the thick stuff can be brutally disheartening after awhile.  I will climb aboard the riding mower today and finsih the deeper areas.  I figure once I have whacked it down once with that,  I can re-mow with the walking mower and chop it closer...and the walking mower will pick up the piles of cut grass and spread them over a larger area, hopefully to plant more grass seeds, etc. etc.

Something really icky happened yesterday though.  I was skirting the perimeters, so I could see the edges of hills today on the riding mower.  I dont wanna go slip sliding away.  I ran over a bunny.  It screamed and legs went flying.  Yeah.  It was horrible.  Emma thought is was great.  She and Abbey happily took care of the remains while I got angry and cried. You'd think the noise of the mower would have scared it away before I got to it!  Dumb bunny.  poor bunny.  After that I stopped the mower for awhile and listened to crickets yelling at me...I was disturbing their home and they were angry I was changing their ecosytem all around.  i was the ugly american.  it was disturbing.  i decided it was time for a break.

after an hour of rest and water i re-entered the grass world and continued my swath of destruction.  i pushed the clinical thoughts into my mind.  rabbits are pests that eat my veggies and herbs.  gophers too.  then i ran over a gopher.  yup.  a medium sized pup.  ack!  since when is mowing grass such a vicious undertaking? argh.  big sigh.

the grasses and weeds have to be kept low.  it will soon turn brown in the southern california summer the law tells us it has to be short due to fire precautions.  and it looks so pretty when it is short.  of course, it looks pretty long too... argh.

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