Archive - Jul 9, 2013


Midsummer night

It is perverse to stay up late in the summer and then sleep in until 8 a.m., thus missing out on two hours of sunshine and quiet, but that is what I do. I love the long summer evenings, and I love the quiet after dark. But then I have to sleep through some sunshine to get my eight hours. 

And even so, an hour-long siesta in the afternoon happens more afternoons than not. 

Today I luxuriated in mowing with the zero-turning-radius mower. Dad repaired it this morning after a bent blade made a track in the lawn about a foot wide. There is nothing I enjoy like mowing. It is an atavistic pleasure. I did a lot of the mowing around the nursery for many years in elementary school, at least if my memory serves. Mowing is really a complete waste of time and fuel, but it is a morale booster. Therefore, we do it. Immoderately. 

At least we aren't conquering acres of ditch with the mower. In fact, the sweet clover, which grows opportunistically on ground that has been recently disturbed, dominates right up to the drive. 

Now there are laws governing if and when people can mow the road ditches. The idea is to protect the birds which nest in the road ditches. So, some road ditches you can't mow until July 1, others until August 1, and so on. I guess that makes sense. Back when tax dollars were easier to come by, keeping the road ditches neatly mowed was a matter pride. No more. Now, it is purely practicality.

Why do we mow road ditches? 

1) I suspect it is good to mow the ditches before noxious weeds, such as thistle, produce viable seed that can float for miles. 

2) Mowing the ditches late will prevent the growth from causing snowdrifts across the road all winter, which will have a deleterious effect on the snow-plowing budget. Spend money now, save it later. 

However, the growth is so tick (Norwegian for "thick") that deer can jump right out of it onto the road leaving you almost no time to react. 

As always, it is best to take it slow.