Fences Need Mowing, Too

160827_FenceRow

[ Looks a bit messy? ]

August 27 – A blog about fences! This week I put in a couple hours mowing along the road that runs past our property. Again, I should have done that job much earlier this summer, but either it was raining, or I just didn’t have the time. OK, so that doesn’t sound right! Two retired persons surely should have time to do anything they want. Maybe it’s because we choose to keep things neat instead of letting everything turn into tall weeds that just don’t look very nice.

So, while Dale was working on several jobs that I can’t do, I took the mower over to the fence and started pushing it through the tall grass just to get to the grass under the fence. Since the mower made too much contact with mole hills and valleys along the way, I decided to just steer a straight course to the end of the fence and come back on the other side. Unfortunately, I could hardly push the machine without lifting up the front and shoving it forward, then back again. Besides, the fence sits atop a little rise, just enough to make the job harder.

160827_ChrisMowing

[ Mowin’ the fences ]

Finally, at the end of the fence, I lifted the barbed wire with one hand, and pushed the mower underneath, being very careful that the wire didn’t grab any part of the mower to hold it back. Several tries later, I was on one side, and the mower on the other! Hooray! Only now comes the interesting part… Surely I wouldn’t be crazy enough to walk all the way back to the beginning where I started, then walk away from the fence till I could get through the gate, and make the trip back to the mower which was waiting for me on that side of the fence?

Of course, not! So I did what I have done several times in a situation like that. I got down on my hands and knees, kept my head down and moved under the barbed wire to the other side. That wire caught me just once as I had kept my seat up a bit too high! As I walked over to the mower, a garter snake slid past me into the grass I had mowed.

OK, now it was time to mow between the posts back to the beginning.Several giant ragweeds had to be pulled out by hand because the mower couldn’t handle the job. As I neared the end, I thought that Dale might want proof that I had climbed under the wire, so I turned off the mower and went looking for him. Our usual call, when we can’t find each other outside is, “Hoo-oo, hoo-oo,” so when he didn’t answer my call, I thought he must be inside. Not finding him there, I went outside again, calling and calling. No response. As a last resort, I walked down the hill, crossed the creek, and continued to call. Nothing. OK, so back I went, but just before I crossed the creek to the other side, I happened to look up towards the barn, only to find Dale sitting on his barn chair and working on a problem he was having with the garden cart—a flat tire!

160827_GasCan

[ Good thing I brought the gas can ]

Just as we were leaving to go back to the fence, I thought it might be a good idea to take along the gas can, just in case there wasn’t any gas left in the mower. Maybe woman’s intuition? No, better than that! Sure enough, the tank was absolutely empty. After Dale had taken pictures of my crawling under the fence, he went back to his work of hoeing and weeding in the blackberry patch where I soon joined him after the fence job was done.

Unfortunately, those weeds were the kind that have lots of tendrils which continue to reach out to a large area around the center of the plant. During the dry weather they held fast, and when the rains came they branched out even more. They’re so thick that it’s hard to pull them by hand, but when we use the hoe, they just will not be separated from the ground, but break up all along the stems, leaving a messy-looking area. I even started up the mower and mowed all along the edges of the plot, but still had to weed by hand. Dale can come up with some interesting observations from time to time as we work together. This time he said, “You know what? I hope the birds that always get to the blackberries before we do, give thanks for what we are doing for them right now!”

160827_Bamboo

[ Bamboo bamboo bamboo ]

While Dale raked up the mess later, I moved on down towards the other fence that borders the road. On the way, I checked out the huge section of bamboo which continues to grow taller and more dense. As I told Dale a couple of days ago, “I am never going to pull up that bamboo again! It can grow tall, and thick or whatever it wants to do, but I am NOT going to work for hours and hours as I did a couple years ago, trying to keep it trim!”

Along the nearby fence I mowed several sections that I just can’t reach with the riding mower. Taking a good chance of falling down the hill on the mower is not something I want to do, so I held tightly onto the seat and leaned over to the side away from the fence. Oh, well, even if that small idea couldn’t keep the mower from falling down towards the road, it did cheer me up a bit, just thinking of my ability to come up with solutions to problems. Any of my brothers would have looked at me as I said that, and sarcastically groaned, “Sis, you sure are a smart one!” – CHRIS

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