Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mowing With My Neighbors

Since Music Man has returned to work, a few of the things he would have taken care of before are now done more often by me.  One of those is the mowing of our 2 acres.  Most of our property is hills, so I'm sure it's a funny sight to see me butt cheek hanging off the uphill side of the mower in my attempt to not roll us both down the hills.  I especially dislike mowing the front yard, which has a fairly steep incline.   We're very lucky to have a riding mower and I'm thankful each time I have a big patch to mow that we do indeed have it as it was a gift from a friend.  The thought of living mowers in the form of livestock has crossed my mind on more the one occasion...shouldn't we be turning this into food rather then using fossil fuel to mow perfectly good fodder for the freezer?  Hmmmm....something to ponder....

I generally mow the yard in sections and it takes about 5 hours total to mow it all, I'm constantly mowing one part or another almost every day. If I break it up daily, it doesn't seem such a daunting task.  And the blade needs to be sharpened, so it doesn't cut the most consistently even lawn anyway, but it's better then bushwhacking through the thigh high grass trying to find the boys baseballs!

We have one part of the property that is level, and this is where the boys mini ball field is.  This gets more attention by far then any other part of the yard because we prefer that they are outside playing and want that to be available for them when the mood strikes...or I just need them out of the house for a while to accomplish things indoors or to simply have a few minutes to fold some clothes or hear myself think, you know, stuff like that.  A few weeks ago when I was mowing their field, all of a sudden I was dive bombed be a bird.  Or so I thought.  As I looked wildly around, I noticed another coming for me, swooping before he got to me and continuing on it's way.  I thought perhaps I was near a nest and they were unhappy with me being so close, so I continued on, but kept a watchful eye on them.  I've seen barn swallows practically knock a barn cat out that was too close to it's babies, so I wasn't looking for that sort of afternoon.  As I watched them, I began to notice that they were flying at top speed, they would come up behind the mower, sweep over my head and double back in front of me.  It was then that I realized they weren't trying to attack me, they were hunting dinner!

I watched in amazement as they followed my track around the field, snatching up bugs in my wake.  They would swoop in, grab the bugs I was stirring up and be off and back again in no time.  It was fascinating to watch, and I felt it was a symbiotic relationship we had going on.  They stayed with me the whole time I mowed that field.  I stopped when that section was done and went for a little break from the sun and to grab some cold water.  I sat on the sun porch and watched for them, but they had gone.  After refreshing myself, I decided to do another section that day as there was rain in the forecast for the following day and I wanted to be sure I would not miss the mowing time.  The boys were content and playing in their freshly shorn field, so I continued with the field next to that, which we call "The Back Field".  I had been off the mower for about 35 minutes and thought the swallows would be on to buggier pastures, but it was not 2 minutes that I had the mower on and running and they returned, diving and swooping and feeding.  I very much enjoyed their company for a time and was glad I could make their mealtime a little easier for them.

What's your nature story for today?  ~Peacemom

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