Posted in Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Food, Garden, Gifts, Home, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering

Mow, mow, mow your lawn

Competition  (Taken yesterday)

Sitting quietly, doing nothing
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

~ The Gospel According to Zen

Iris in the grass
Iris in the grass  (Yesterday)

I feel as though we’ve come full circle.  Moving in last year on this date, the Wabi-Sabi Ranch was a jungle, lush and green and overgrown.  The wildness was almost overwhelming.

Scenes from last year
Scenes from last year

The collage gives you some idea, but I think the following shot from last year sums it up best:

Overgrown (May 2013)

It looks so different here today.  The vines have been cut back, multi-flora roses in particular have been dealt with in a ruthless manner.  Still, they keep trying to resurrect themselves.  The garden is cleaned up, trash piles have been carted away to the landfill or moved to one location on the property.  Grasses have been cut back.

Open and in full bloom today.
Open and in full bloom today.

Mowing the lawn has become my main chore lately.  The grass grows so quickly.  In the Bogs (northeast Ohio), we had the luxury of allowing a lot of the grass to just grow.  M mowed pathways through the meadows so we could take walks without having to swim through the high grasses, but otherwise, much of the land was allowed to go wild.  We don’t have that luxury here.

Everything happens so quickly here.
Everything happens so quickly here.

The calendar may not say it’s summer yet, but the weather, the plants, and the wildlife all agree that summer has begun here.  The snakes are active.  The birds have little ones that they’re already teaching to swim or fly.  If you’re not prone to believing those sources when it comes to announcing summer, the insects make it quite clear.  The mosquitoes and deer flies are out in full force.  The ticks cannot be far behind.  They’re probably out there already.  We just haven’t seen them yet.

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird

During our first few weeks here, I saw a large black snake slithering its way towards the house.  It freaked me out a little.  I got online and looked up how to keep snakes away from the house.  They make snake repellents, but apparently the best method is to take away the hiding places.  Mow the grass, keep the shrubs and weeds cut back.  We cleared away what looked like a jungle around the house, and now there is no place for them to hide.  I have not seen snakes near the house so far this season.  Mission accomplished.

There are lots of toads.  This fella lives near the boardwalk that runs up to the house.
There are lots of toads. This fella lives near the boardwalk that runs up to the house.

Ticks are a bigger concern.  There is a high rate of Lyme Disease on the Eastern Shore.  To lessen the chances of picking up a tick, we keep a lot of the grass surrounding the house mowed.  It is also recommended that you keep the deer away from your house.  Not a problem.  The deer seem to prefer to remain out in the woods, the marsh, and the meadows.  We see their footprints in the sand, but otherwise, they might not even be there for all we see of them.  All the available wildness keeps them out of the gardens.  They don’t need to come this close to eat.  (The flowers and shrubs are happy about that!)

My first hummingbird sighting of the season.  Rumor has it they have been here a few weeks, but this is the first one I've seen.
My first hummingbird sighting of the season. Rumor has it they have been here a few weeks, but this is the first one I’ve seen.

Back in the Bogs, ticks were not a concern for us, and the snakes seemed to prefer the water in the pond so we rarely saw one on land except for the little garter snakes.  That is why we had what I call the luxury of not mowing.

The mowing here at the ranch takes about 4-6 hours, I think, when all is said and done, and it takes two of us to get it all accomplished in that time.  I do a lot of the mowing with the garden tractor, and then use the push mower in areas close to the house so I can bag the grass cuttings and put them in the compost pile.  We drag in sand all the time.  We don’t need to add clumps of grass clippings to the mix.  M mows the areas I don’t feel confident in mowing (near the ditches, close to the lagoon, out in the meadows where there are all kinds of ways to get stuck in a rut).

I was thrilled to discover Blue-Eyed Grass here.
I was thrilled to discover Blue-Eyed Grass here.

This morning I worked out in my scrounger’s garden, finishing the path.  I still have flowers I need to get in the ground.  The poor things have been sitting out there for about two weeks waiting for me to transplant them.  Hopefully I’ll get them taken care of today.  It’s so hot now that it’s difficult for me to tolerate the heat for more than 30 minutes or so at a time.  I go out dressed in full summer gear (long trousers tucked into socks and boots, long-sleeved shirt tucked into trousers, hat with mosquito netting, and gloves).  Even so, the dang deer flies always manage to find an opening.  Ever the scientist, M is experimenting with different fly traps.  I should do a post about that one day.  We had a mishap with one yesterday.  Our blue sticky traps have always worked best and we put one on the far end of the fence near where the Eastern Kingbirds perch.  One of them got her little wing stuck on the trap.  I dislodged her as quickly and as gently as I could, and I hope she’s okay.  She took off and I’ve seen no sign of her (or him, for that matter).  I felt horrible about it, especially seeing how frightened the poor little bird was.  I removed the sticky trap from the fence.  Maybe the birds will return.

Last week's haul from the CSA.
Last week’s haul from the CSA.

I reckon that’s it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch for now.  Thank you so much for stopping by, and reading my rambles.  Let’s go down to the Point for sunset this evening.  I think it will be cooler there, and it’s always windy.  The wind is good at shooing the bugs away.

The blueberries we planted this spring are doing exceptionally well.  Who do you think will get the berries first?  My money is on the birds.
The blueberries we planted this spring are doing exceptionally well. Who do you think will get to the berries first once they ripen? My money is on the birds.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂




Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

17 thoughts on “Mow, mow, mow your lawn

  1. I’m working on mowing the lawn today – a job that requires I first pick up pine cones until we’re well into summer. Many other things out there that need doing too, and it will all get done. Slowly.


  2. Have you tried tossing a little netting over the berries? The birds are smart about darting beneath the netting, but if you tuck it in around the base of the bush, you might just get to enjoy!


  3. Used to take us 4 hours to mow our lawn, but we got better at it. You will too. I remember when you first moved there. Pause a moment and remember….a year ago the house was an absolute mess, now you have a new kitchen and a beautiful sunroom, and some semblance of order in the gardens. Progress! 🙂


    1. Thank you, thank you, and thank you, Dawn, for reminding me to pause and think back to how it was a year ago. We’ve made a lot of progress, and that feels good! 🙂


  4. More wonderful food photography! And blueberries!! 🙂
    You haven’t been taking pictures of the high grass in MY back yard, have you?? LOL
    It’s Greg’s job to mow the grass, and he always lets the back yard go (thank goodness for our privacy fence!!) until you almost need to hack your way through with a machete!


  5. Ticks are moving in here too. A big worry as we spend lots of time in our woods. I find picking up fallen branches and twigs a major task this year. I’d love to see an ‘after’ photo of ‘overgrown’. Jane


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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