Friday, March 6, 2009

What Prodigious Mowing (of the real, not metaphorical kind)

It is 67 degrees out today (that's sixty-seven). The sun is shining too, even though it looked dicey early this morning. The breeze is blowing like a spring breeze--gusty and moist--and I am just so happy. I try to maintain optimism throughout winter and I think I do pretty well. But I will not lie: My soul comes alive again as winter ends. I wake up, like the hibernating animals, and shake off the long-seeming dream of the past months.

I mowed some of the pastures this morning with the old, blue Massey-Ferguson tractor.
John got me set up with all the weird controls. It is a little hard to drive--I have to stand up to get the clutch and the brake all the way down. (Do you like that tin-foil around the gears?)
But it's cool. It is fun to sit up so high and cut such a wide swath while the breeze tosses your hair. And it does my little Aries heart good to see all the progress!

You may not be able to tell from the picture, but I mowed all that!

Here's where I started--it is the future site of the horse barn:

We try to maintain the meadows for wildlife, which means that the best time to mow is early spring, before the birds and insects and animals start building nests and having babies. Sometimes we mow in the fall, but leaving the dead vegetation up all winter offers cover and food (all those seedheads) to lots of living things. Mowing is one of those chores that you have to jump on when the time is right. You might have one good weekend in the spring to get it done, before everything turns into a soggy, tractor-sticking mess. It is great to be living here this year--our first spring!--and be able to take advantage of the weather.

My imagination works steadily most of the time, but while mowing today I could've sworn that the dead grasses and stickers and weeds were grabbing at my legs with their bony hands screaming, "Noooo!" as I cut a path through their skeletal kingdom. I didn't have any mercy for them, though. "Get thee to the Underworld! It's time for new growth!"


Heather said...

Meg, I'm with you, trying to stay positive throughout winter, but so happy and feeling much more... ALIVE when spring springs. That's a lot of mowin' you did there. You go girl! There's a field across the street from us that belongs to our neighbor, but he lets my husband borrow his Massey-Ferguson to mow it several times throughout the year. My hubby says it's the same model Massey as yours, only it's red instead of blue. Lovin' this warm weather, by the way. I can hear the peepers as I write this. Ahhhh, spring!

mamawhatthe said...

You have such a beautiful place there Meg. I enjoy mowing too (now that we have a riding mower). And the M-F is gorgeous, tin-foil and all. Er, you know what i mean by M-F, right? That sorta looks different than it sounded in my head.

About the horse barn, just a thought, but have you considered putting it up the hill so water doesn't run down the hill into the barn and the yard right around it? I don't know anything about horse barns. That's just a thought that occurred to me when I saw the pic.

Meg said...

Hey Heather,
I heard the peepers, too! What a delightful sound it was. I hope they don't get frozen in any future frosts. Maybe they go underground? And the birds are singing's awesome. I was thinking about you the other day when I heard birdsong but, of course, couldn't identify the singer(s). I need someone by my side continuously!

Maggie--oh, you wouldn't believe all the discussion we've had about the horse barn placement. That field used to have these "blow holes" the county extension guy called them--places where the old drainage tiles had collapsed and sucked the ground down and out. We had a new, plastic drainage pipe put in and it works like a charm to keep the place from becoming a lake. Still...I'm not entirely trusting. I've got an appointment with the county extension agent to come talk me through some proposed sites. I'm hoping to learn a lot. Hopefully, I'll be able to post about the barn progress beginning this May (fingers crossed).

Heather said...

I'm not sure where the peepers go. I also think they might burrow down in the ground when it gets too cold. As to the birds singing, it is indeed delightful. I'm just about to do a post about a unique birding-by-ear opportunity that's just about in your back yard (in terms of distance). Check in soon!