DW chuckled and exclaimed, “You’re back in the fields again!”
I had been bush hogging, among other things. I had come in for a potty break, and as I passed the bathroom mirror, I saw the tractor grease and sweat on my t-shirt, the flecks of dirt on my neck, and the bits of dried weeds tangled into my hair. Yes, I was back at it, and it felt good.
The sun has been generous the last couple days, which means I feel more obligated than usual to be outside. The grass is growing like weeds and the weeds are growing like… well, like weeds. If I don’t keep up on them, all of this ground greenery will make it difficult to navigate our way to the outbuildings and fields. Already, hoses that I neatly rolled up last fall lie buried under overgrowth. In order to mow, they have to be moved, which means that they will come unraveled as I tug and rip away at the growth’s hold. Had I put the hoses away in the barn last year, I wouldn’t have this extra work to do, yet that’s not the way I roll. I stroll.
When one leaves piles of junk, or anything else that creates a pile, out in a field, Nature soon finds a way to make use of it. We have a woodpile in an adjacent lot that California Quail use as a nesting area. Tarps or ground cloths left on the ground become covers for vole runs. Yesterday I found a beautiful salamander under some rotting lumber that I was going to burn. When I saw the little bugger, I put the wood back down. It will be fully rotted away in another year or two anyway. Today, in order to mow an area, I had to remove a pile of compost that was sitting on a tarp, and as I pulled at the tarp, two small garden snakes emerged. I picked them up and moved them to a safer area, where the bush hog blade would not get them.
I have been mowing the better of two days now, and I still have more to do. This afternoon I will attack the lawn and a side yard that has a story of its own.
When we first moved here, it became immediately apparent that there was just way too much lawn. Over two acres of grass would need to be mowed if the place was going to look presentable to the outside world. I was not pleased with this prospect, and as I soon found out, six hours of my precious time would go to that chore each week. Yet, I diligently mowed, all the while scheming how to reduce the time spent on this Sisyphusian nonsense. The big side lot was easy: we planted trees and let it go back to meadow and wetland. (Yes, wetland. It was real fun mowing it, believe me.) Areas closer to the house would require a little more imagination…or not. I tilled up the area and planted native wildflowers. Right. That worked out well. Aside from Lupine, which needs no encouragement to grow, and blackberries, which are pernicious in these parts, the grass has returned. So, I’m going to mow it down and let the grass continue to have its way. I’m sure our neighbors will approve.
As the days get longer, I am finding that I have more hours of light to get things done around the farm. That is putting a serious crimp in my poker time, which may be just as well. Saturday night I sat at a very juicy 70% PLO table, yet, my sets and draws got clobbered and went nowhere. With one buy-in gone, I started listing within 20 hands. Normally, I wouldn’t hesitate buying in again, but knowing that I wasn’t in the mood, I chose to do something else, like edit video.
I have a video in a show in June. A young curator I met in Portland has been very receptive to my work, or at least some of it, and this has encouraged me to get more of the work that remains “in the can” into a presentable form. I’ll post a shortie, “Peaches!” here (Sometimes it takes a while for YouTube to post the vid, so check back if you don't see it.) that is to be incorporated into the series of work about “self” that I’ve been doing. It’s dark humor, to be sure.
I’ve also been revisiting videos that I did ten years ago. They’re on VHS, which is OK, yet they also need to be on DVD. It’s rather fun looking at old work, and if I have the time, I will edit them down to short segments I can post on YouTube.
OK, I’ve got to get back to work.