There's a price that we pay every week for planting lots of trees, when we mow. Weaving in and out of our leafy obstacle course takes some time and skill. I found out a couple of weeks ago that one branch on the pear tree is much woodier than it was last year. It didn't give when I pushed it aside, so it conked me on the head and then it knocked my sun hat off.
|Meadow-like, pretty, tick habitat|
I'd be perfectly happy letting much of the lawn revert to meadow. We let parts of it get rather long this past week, but we started finding deer ticks walking about our bodies. I realized that despite it being 86 degrees, sunny and humid out, I needed to spend the afternoon riding in circles on our little Kelley green lawn tractor. I pulled on my no longer fit for viewing in public clothes that have iron stains from the hard water and paint splotches from assorted projects. I also prepared by smearing on my "sensitive skin" zinc oxide based sunscreen that looks like thinned diaper cream. I pushed on my floppy, sweat stained straw hat with a chin strap, and my giant extra dark bug-eyed sunglasses that I only wear in the yard since both my husband and kid exploded with laughter the first time they saw them. Yes, I was a fashion hazard, but I was comfortable and protected from the sun. After all this, I poured myself a big decaf iced coffee in an insulated travel mug and headed for the shed.
I spent the next two and a half hours going around and around trees, then back and forth on the straightaways. Meanwhile, I was dodging the free-ranging chickens, who like to follow the mower around because it stirs up the bugs. When finished, I stepped off the mower and looked at myself. The sunscreen provided the nicest adhesive for dust, dirt and bits of grass. My skin was khaki. I spent the next half hour scrubbing off sunscreen and the associated grime.
It took three hours total at that point. Done for a week, when I will do it all over again.
|Garden Looking North|
The garden is zooming along. The arugula is done. The lettuce is almost done, I planted more, but it has been too hot for the seeds to sprout. The Swiss chard has kicked in and the collards are coming along. They are some of the bumps under the row covers. Sugar snap and snow peas are abundant. The summer squashes didn't sprout, so I just planted fresh seeds. I'll be planting the pole beans to grow up the corn stalks later today.
|Garden, looking south|
|Popcorn and squash, with peas and sunflowers in the background.|