Friday, May 8, 2009

Five Feet High and Rising

With apologies to Johnny Cash, it's not water I'm talking about, but the grass and weeds in my yard!

We had sunshine all day yesterday -- hurrah!-- and my water-logged yard dried out a bit. This morning's sky, however, showed clouds containing the threat of rain AGAIN! Looking at the weather map and reading the forecast is just down right depressing!

Therefore, with forehead bound up with a bandana to keep the sweat out of my eyes, and a day's water and rations dangling from my belt loops lest I be lost in the jungle between my back door and the garden shed, I got out the lawnmower, mowed a track to enable me to reach the front yard, and made hay (but not while the sun was shining.) Since we're also under a wind-advisory, I didn't take time to sweep the cuttings off the walk. Mother Nature sometimes comes to the aid of lazy folk.

Of course, I exaggerate the height of the weeds and grass, but some clumps of what looks like wild oats (who's been cavorting in my yard when I'm not looking?) were a good 10-12 inches tall. However, I have seen grass five feet high, and rising; a remnant of the tall grass prairie which used to cover huge sections of the plains states. This particular batch was in Chase County, Kansas, the setting for a wonderful book, PrairieErth,
by William Least Heat Moon, who is also the author of Blue Highways. I recommend both for your reading enjoyment.

Wikipedia (I love it!) has a wonderful article on Tall Grass Prairies
here. Conservation efforts are alive and well in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and elsewhere (including parts of Canada). A bit of Googling on "tall grass prairie" will take you to some very interesting sites, should you be tempted to take a look.

Note to Jeannelle of Iowa: Prairie City, IA has a tall grass prairie preserve. I don't know how close that is to your home, but I know you would find it interesting, chock full of photo ops!

14 comments:

Arkansas Patti said...

Know how you feel. I have been very lucky timing wise and have kept the yard in check between rains. You have to be really quick.
Worst thing about the brief sunshine is that somehow the pollen dried out enough to get airborne again. Ah choo.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Add mushrooms to the list...not only is the grass growing, but mushrooms are proliferating like rabbits in my flower beds!!!! LOL... Love this post! Have a great weekend! ~Janine OX

Snowbrush said...

Just sounds like the Deep South to me. The more rain, the higher the grass, but the less chance to get out and mow it.

jinksy said...

So glad you didn't get lost in your jungle! We'd have missed this fun post!

Peter said...

Lovely Post. The mental image of you "with forehead bound up with a bandana to keep the sweat out of my eyes, and a day's water and rations dangling from my belt loops" gave me a real chuckle! I will follow up those interesting links and book titles too.

I guess I have happy memories and long grass all bound up together in my head. Between the ages of 3 and 5, we lived in a New Town in England. One of those concrete urban living environments that were designed by committees of worthy artists, town planners, architects, social scientists, and psychologists after the second world war (there was a hymn from that era entitled "God of concrete, God of steel!" No kidding!). Needless to say, mum and dad had little affection for the town, and were glad to finally find a little house with its own garden (yard) in Pembury, which is a small village in the South of England. My sister and I apparently went wild with joy when we found the garden (I still have a slight memory of that moment, of the sunlight, smell of the grass, the wildness and height of it). The garden had gone wild. Grass was higher than what we were, and we played lions and tigers. It was so much fun, and such a release after the confines of where we were before.

Jeannelle said...

Hi, Pat.....glad to hear you got some mowing done. Our lawn is turning into a pasture, too, with the rain that keeps on a-falling. We have some of those clumps of taller grasses and weeds sticking up now, too.

Thank you for the mention and linkage, and for the info about the prairie preserve near Prairie City. I've never been there, but have heard of it.....its down by Des Moines.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!

NitWit1 said...

Glad my husband takes care of this. He did three yards and used the weed wacker where the mower could not go.

We care for the house next to us which has occupants only twice a year for 2 week intervals. They are due tomorrow.

rhymeswithplague said...

Don't even talk to me about weeds and tall grass. Our budget was a little tight this year so I dropped the lawn maintenance people who do the pre-emergent and post-emergent treatments, and I also dropped the lawn-mowing guy to save a little more money, deciding to do it all myself.

Then THE RAINS CAME. We had several weeks when our yard looked like "cross the wide Missouri." I did manage to get out there and HAND-PICK the tens of thousands of weeds by hand, pulling them up by the roots. Then they all grew back acter the next rain.

I am stiffer and sorer than any 68-year-old has a right to be, and still trying to keep the Neighborhood Nazis from the Homeowners Association off my back.

I do commiserate with you. Truly I do.

rhymeswithplague said...

I forgot to say I never bought the pre-emergent or post-emergent sprays, so that undoubtedly has contributed to my problems.

flinthillstallgrass.org said...

I'm glad you mentioned tallgrass prairies. The tallgrass prairie is the most endangered ecosystem in North America. Less than 3 percent of the original prairie remains. So I'm glad to read about how others are appreciating it.

richies said...

I say let it go natural. Who needs to cut grass anyway. Looks like another rainy day here today. Will it ever end? I suppose when the temperatures hit 100 and it is dry we will remember these rainy days fondly.

An Arkies Musings

Snap said...

As always, a wonderful post. I can see you in your yard (just barely), working away.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

My yard is a disaster because I've been sick with a cough for 9 days and haven't been able to do a thing out there. One thing I know for sure is that the weeds will wait for me until I get well enough to pull and dig again.

TSannie said...

Loved Blue Highways and have read it several times. I have prairieErth but have yet to crack it open. (I'm going through a non-book reading phase at present). Missouri also has conservation efforts going for the TGP.

And Pat, that iris is just lovely.
Don't let the yard work get you down!