Posted by: morrowsl | May 28, 2019

Reason Not to Mow #2

Mike gets irritated by the sight of tall grass in places where he normally would mow. For the first year or two, I didn’t give it a lot of thought. We mowed everything without wondering how much we were stealing from the bunnies and bees and birds. In our defense, we’d lived over thirty years in a place where not mowing could cost you a pretty hefty fine along with the hairy eyeball from the neighbors!
Once the greenhouse was built and I conned him into letting me have a small area to attempt a pollinator meadow, my view of the landscape around us changed. Usually, we get bunnies in the yard. They have begun to feel safe enough that they no longer vanish the second the door opens. And I have been leaving dandelions for them to munch. I’m reasonably sure there’s an entire rabbit community in the stone planter in the front yard. It’s overgrown with a huge Quince and a Live Oak tree and various other rather large leafy things, so it makes the perfect place for a bunny village.
Likewise the birds feel right at home here with the various feeders up and us never pulling their nests down. I’ve even managed a couple of birdhouses and the bird baths are rarely dry.

When we first moved to Remote, we kept the three deer feeders filled, to the tune of about 150 pounds of deer corn a week. Which would have been fine had we not also been feeding an insane number of feral hogs! We stopped filling the feeders at times when natural food sources would be readily available for the deer. Unfortunately, that meant we stopped seeing deer making the circuit from feeder to feeder several times a day. But it kept the yard and flowerbeds intact.

So.

Normally, when I walk from the coop to the greenhouse, I have my eyes on the ground. This comes from YEARS of tripping over small objects and doing damage to my body. Around here, it also assures that I’ll see a snake, scorpion, or ant hill well before I step on it.

Such was the case yesterday.

I had been working in the coop and needed to get a rake and shovel out of the pump house near the garden. The walk is uphill and the ground is uneven, plus it’s well into snake season, so I had my head down. The danger here is that I usually end up running into any low-hanging tree limb, but I’ve walked this particular path in this particular manner enough now that all the limbs have pretty much been hit and broken off.

In my head, I was sorting through the list of things yet to do and calculating how much longer I thought I might be able to take the rising heat when suddenly, on the ground less than a foot from my foot, I saw this:

SONY DSC

I jumped a bit and said, “OH!” and increased my speed up the hill to the top. Once there, I looked back and saw absolutely nothing. In fact, the nothing was so complete I decided I hadn’t seen anything at all because my mind had been busily compiling a list and my eyes had been busily looking for snakes and I couldn’t possibly have seen a tiny deer in the tall grass.

I came back down the hill with my tools and turned again to see if I could spot the baby anywhere along my path.

Nope.

Nada.

Nothing.

SONY DSC

I worked a bit more, but it bothered me that I could find the baby and I needed to know an approximate location so I wouldn’t accidentally walk so close to it again. And I wanted  Mike to know in case he was out in the same area. So I slowly retraced my previous path back up the hill until I came even with the disk, which is the outermost implement in the field. I knew I’d been about even with that before I saw the deer, so I stopped there and began to scan a grid across the tall grass until, finally, I spotted the baby lying flat.

SONY DSC

I made sure it was breathing, then got to the house and my camera before his or her mom came back to retrieve her youngster. I told Mike and Sheli I had a surprise for them, then went out to snap pictures.
When I went back inside, I made a plea to Mike to not mow at all until we were sure the babies had gotten old enough that they were moving with the rest of the deer. He agreed!

SONY DSC

We won’t be mowing anytime too soon. I’m thinking sometime in November will work.


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