Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Traumatic Haircut

I'm erring on the side of drama with that title.  Two days ago I felt traumatized, though.  I felt just like I did when I cut my long hair into a very short wedge.  It was something I had chosen to do, but still felt sad and worried about my decision.  I didn't recognize myself in the mirror for quite a while.  

I don't recognize my land either.  Last year was a banner year for rain after a two year drought. We were blessed with abundant rain, and the plants took advantage of it.  The grass and other plants in our pasture grew taller than we'd ever seen it.  For several years my husband has quietly suggested that we need to get it mown because it looked unsightly.  I thought it looked natural and loved the wildlife that made it home.  For two years in a row, a doe has dropped her fawn in a particularly overgrown area of the pasture.  She's raised both fawns very nearby and even brought them up to nibble sunflower seeds that the chickens miss.  I know, deer are pests, but she's special.  I won't get that this year.

For five years Lee has let the pasture mowing slide.  He knows how much I love it.  This year it had to be done.  The lack of rain this winter made my beautiful pasture a fire hazard extraordinaire. Every time we'd smell smoke from someone's burn pile we'd share the "which way is the wind blowing" look.  We have no fire hydrants.  If our pasture caught fire, we'd be on our own.  Spring brought no rainy relief.  He was right.  It was time.  

The night before the big mow, I walked the pasture with one of the dogs to make sure we weren't going to accidentally be mowing over nests of bunnies or a hidden fawn.  All clear (shoot!).  The mowers came with all their power tools and transformed several acres in just one day.  Lee and I walked the pasture that night and I cried.   It felt awful and looked awful.  The mowers came a second day to do a second mow, mulch the piles of brush and weed-eat.  I walked it again that night and felt a little better.  Much like with a dramatic haircut, you always feel better when friends tell you it looks great.  Several people called to say how good it looked.  I still think it looks stark and certainly not wildlife friendly, but the sight of deer this morning assured me that it was okay with them. 

I hope the snakes are okay. :)   

Before

After
Before
After

2 comments:

  1. It IS stressful; there's a close parallel with our land. I've even taken to apologising to the spiders which use the grass seed heads for web attachment, when the brushcutter is used.

    Love seeing your country, before and after.

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  2. You know it does look really stark and less wildlife friendly, but it also looks fresh and new, too.

    I'm sure you realize that this drastic trim will enable the new grass to grow out even thicker, lusher and fresher for all of the wildlife to enjoy...and you, too.

    Hang in there, like hair, the grass will grow back.

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