Saturday, May 17, 2008

Needed: Herd of buffalo

In April the orchard was in full Sparaxil glory with occasional outcroppings of the pretty, lavendar Oxalis and great patches of the yellow kind. Buried beneath all this green glory were various balls from the grade school, cans and bottles, (sadly, also from the grade school), dead branches from the oak and olive trees and surely a vast population of Elves, Gnomes, Leprachauns, and the occasional Ogre.
By May the Elves, Gnomes, Leprachauns and Ogres had packed up all the flowers and all the green , leaving behind a veritable keep-me-awake-at-night worry about fire. So, Thursday morning the rake and I were out at the school fence by 6:00am and managed to fill two large "greens" cans with dried foxtails and crispy bedstraw. That stretch HAD been mowed several weeks ago but there was a ton of dead grass stems and seed heads in the fence line. The juicy blister on my right paw allowed me to stop and tidy up for my real job. You know, the one that actually pays money?
Friday morning the mower and I spent an hour rolling back and forth between the trees, stirring up clouds of foxtails, dust, and tiny peices of dried Sparaxis. The big mower and I run outta gas about the same time. (By "big" mower I mean this thing has bicycle tires and a "self propelling" gear..another blister issue...and a 24" cutting deck. It can eat a lot of grass in a short time.) It would be better yet
if I had a riding lawnmower-with-bag so that all this fuel could be sucked up off the dirt. Our parents used to have the orchard disked every spring and then they would make ditches along each row and water the trees. The trees have been on their own for several years now and staying alive on winter rains. They are also obviously way out of control in the pruning department. I was elated to notice a 10" Alligator Lizard scurrying away from the noise and bluster of the mower. I was afraid that they had all dissappeared since I hadn't seen one in a few years. They should come down to the house and dine on the snails that the lone rooster misses.

Meanwhile, there are still two rows to mow if anyone is interested....150' x 25' each...........
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