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Country Mornings

May 29th, 2008

 It’s so nice to see the flowers on a cool spring morning.  As the sun comes up it highlights all the plants, and the light dew just makes everything glisten.  The birds are singing, the air is fresh and it gives one a sense of being alive.  It’s a great time to stay busy as well, and we’ve been mulching the flower beds to keep the moisture in as we head to summer.  This area serves another purpose of giving a little privacy to our house and patio area.  The fields beyond are the neighbors property, and there’s a lot of activity over there.  But it’s nice to have a stretch of flowers that sort of invite you to come closer and stay a while.

Flower border along driveway  So this is the weather we’ve been waiting for…  cool mornings and the day warms up comfortably to 75-85 degrees (22-25 C).  It sure makes working outside a pleasant experience doesn’t it?  I’m sort of a cool weather person anyway, and really enjoy spring and fall temperatures.  By the time July or August rolls around, the hot and humid days are just so oppressive, and everything slows down.

We have many newer plants to get in the ground still, and there’s always lots of grass to cut.  In a couple weeks it will be time to cut hay and the tractors will be heading up and down the fields.  We only have a few acres of hayfields ourselves, and a local dairy farm cuts and bales it.  We’re happy to let him have it, and it keeps the field cut for us. But for the smaller fields I just cut the grass once a week or so myself.  Some folks in our area try to keep the country fields looking like a suburban lawn, close cropped and manicured.  More and more I think that’s a waste of money, fuel and time.  The grass looks just fine when cut once a week or so, and kept trimmed, and with the price of fuel these days there are better places to put the money.  But I guess if that’s what’s important to someone, then fine.  We all have areas that are important to us.

I enjoy cutting the grass for the most part, and spend about 7-10 hours on various grass cutting machines each week during the growing season.  Lots of trimming with the weed eater too.  Sometimes it’s a slow process especially when using an older tractor to cut the fields.  But it has nice big tires that don’t cut into the grass when the soil is soft, especially on slopes.  With the price of diesel fuel though, maybe a little more speed would help!  Those little zero turn mowers look pretty quick.  Maybe I’ll have to check one out and see if it does okay?

Cutting grass

 

Fox squirrel in the rain The other day it was pouring down rain but this little Fox squirrel didn’t seem to mind.  I thought it was just passing by, but yesterday it was foraging near the base of a tree when two little young Fox squirrels ran up beside another one.  They were pretty cute, chasing each other around the tree and staring at me.   When I was younger I used to go squirrel hunting in the forests of Missouri and Arkansas.  Ewww!  I know that may sound strange to some people, but for many people in the midwest and east it’s the same as fishing or even gardening. 

 Most folks don’t hunt the Fox squirrels as much; these prefer open tree areas and farm lands and are, well- a little tough to eat.  But the Gray squirrel lives in the Oak-Hickory forests and is a prize even today for many people.  They are quite wary in the forests, it’s not like hunting squirrels in the park.  I remember going with a friend to his grandmother’s house, and she cooked up a delicious batch of fried squirrel with biscuits and gravy and all kinds of other stuff.  It was amazing.  

2 Responses to “Country Mornings”

  1. Ed Abbeyon 30 May 2008 at 8:29 am

    Here and there in oddball corners of land, my parents have taken to planting native grasses and wildflowers instead of mowing. It still requires maintenance in the form of burning every couple years but provided more shelter to the wildlife. Since they started doing this, the number of ringtailed pheasants has increased dramatically on their farms.

  2. Ed Abbeyon 30 May 2008 at 8:30 am

    P.S. I used to eat slowcooked squirrel, noodles and mashed potatoes all the time in college to cut down on food costs! Man were they delicious!

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