Sunday, July 22, 2012
On the right path...
When Don and I first bought Hickahala Ranch it was nothing but open fields and a few acres of wooded bottom land. We loved the way it looked and discussed leaving it like that...natural. Of course, we soon discovered that open grassy fields are NOT natural here and, if left unmowed, our fields would quickly become woods!
As the years have passed by it seems like Don kept mowing more and more "lawn" until he was spending all of his two days off on the lawn mower. This year, he's finally come to the "green side". I've urged him time and again to bush hog instead of mow, to let the horses into the fenced in front yard from time to time and to let me put the goats in the back yard. I seriously doubt that it was my nagging that changed his mind. I reckon he finally just got tired of mowing because this summer he's decided to just mow paths!
He's keeping the front yard mowed around the fence and about ten feet out from the house. He mows me a path to the garden and one to the pond. Pictured above is his path to the woods behind the house. Everything else is left to grow. I think it's great! No more wasting gas (I hate petroleum products and America's dependency on them), no more wasting time on the lawnmowers and no more wasting money constantly fixing the blasted things! Nope, Don is now on the right path...the "green" path that I've been trying to steer him onto for a very long time.
The benefits are amazing. We have more birds around the house...cardinals, hummingbirds, yellow finches and little Indigo buntings, to name a few. The barn swallows raised their family on the back porch and have decided to stay for a while. Some evenings I step outside and there are dragonflies by the hundreds hovering over the lawn. They attract bats, which I dearly love to watch swooping low to catch mosquitoes and other insects. The taller grass also attracts grasshoppers, which in turn help to feed the garden spiders that are beginning to build their webs around the house.
Don has told me to sell the riding mowers in my mom's annual yard sell in October. What mowing needs to be done will be done with the push mower or bush hogged with the tractor next year. It's just one tiny step on the path to a more environmentally friendly farm and I couldn't be happier!