My grass got too high. It’s no one’s fault but my own. I can make a bunch of excuses, but at the end of the day, that’s all they are, excuses. It is the end of May and I had only partially cut my lawn in Missouri….where the rain had been flowing down for months now! This leads me to spending my holiday weekend attempting to cut the grass….I say attempting because, it still isn’t done.
Let’s go back a few weeks.
I realized my grass was getting embarrassingly high. I thought about getting someone to come in and cut it the first time because of how high it was, but I just didn’t want to spend the money. Let’s face it, I’m still not where I want to be financially from doing the freelance writing, so I try to save every penny I can. I’m one of the fortunate ones who lives in the city but still has a nice size yard. When it comes to the dogs, it’s great, when it comes to cutting, not so great. I begin to cut it and it’s still a little too damp from the rain we had overnight so the cutting is taking forever. I decide to pause on the cutting and get out the weed eater to go around the house. I don’t know why, but I also thought I could go back and forth like a machete and trip some of the high grass down. I’m sure my neighbors were having a nice laugh at me!
Sometimes I swear I have adult ADHD because I jump around a lot when it comes to projects like this. I always say I can justify it with a thought, but at the end of the day, I just can’t do the monotony of doing the same thing for hours. It seems like writing is the only thing I can do for long periods without a problem. Anyway…..I go back to cutting. All of a sudden, out of no where, I see something wet looking and small fly out of the grass and away from the mower! I stop the mower instantly and look down, there are three baby bunnies! One flew into the tall grass, one took off down the slope of my yard, and one walked about six inches from where it came out of and froze. Of course, I was convinced I had killed one; the one that had taken off and looked a little damp! Looking around, I found their nest and then wondered, now what do I do. I can’t see the other two anywhere, the grass is way too high, and the little frozen one is just standing still, even when I get close!
I go and sit on my porch and just stare at the baby bunny. I send out a tweet about finding them. I text my two animal lover friends to get some advice. I google “who to contact when you find a baby bunny” and discover we have a nature center here in Kansas City that will help with things like this. I call them. No answer so I leave a message. I’m still sitting on the porch. Of course, I resolve to never let my grass get this high again because I don’t want to be a baby bunny killer.
Yes, I have since learned the nests are usually far enough into the ground I can
still cut my grass and cause them no harm…..but at the time, I didn’t realize it.
I grab the weed trimmer again and decide to do some more areas well away from where any baby bunnies might be. Then it goes through my head, what if there are more and I won’t be able to see them while I’m cutting the grass? Maybe I shouldn’t cut my grass until they are all gone? How long will that be? I stop trimming and sit on the porch again, staring at the frozen baby bunny.
I get up to go look to see if I can find the missing two, which I can’t. One of my neighbors must have had enough of wondering what I was doing because he ventured over to me to ask. We discussed the baby bunnies but I had the distinct impression he wouldn’t be as concerned as I was, or he just thinks I’m a little crazy! Either way, he walked away again without much advice.
My phone rings, It was Lakeside Nature Center calling me back. She told me the mother rabbit will return around sundown, if I could find the babies and try to put them back in the nest, the mother would take care of them. She then explained the “frozen” one was showing a tactic “If I don’t move, you can’t see me” to protect itself. I felt better. I had no clue where the other two were, but I was going to do my best to help these little guys out. Needless to say, no more grass cutting was to be done that day.
I went inside for a little while, I was going to grab a yardstick to help me move the grass around so I could look for the wandering babies. I ended up taking a phone call and got side tracked. By the time I came back outside, I was overjoyed to see momma rabbit right by the frozen baby bunny and another one scamper into the grass as soon as I started down the porch.
As you can see from the picture, the grass is quite high and stayed high for a while because, what I didn’t mention, is I was heading out-of-town the next day!
I was gone for a week and when I returned, it was easy to see the rain had not helped my grass growing dilemma. My mom came back with me from Michigan so I had to do something about this situation soon. She walks with a walker, so the high grass would be a problem for her since she has to walk through the grass to get to my porch. I had built her a nice ramp last year to get up my steps, but she still had to walk up a slight hill on the grass so she didn’t need the problem of the high grass to go with it. It is clear my yard is not ADA friendly! LOL
I grabbed my mower and cut a few paths for my mom to walk easier. I cut about half of my front yard and then I saw a momma rabbit in a whole new area of the front yard. I thought I saw a baby running away. I decided to not cut in that area. Maybe it was an excuse, but I cut all around it. Then it started to rain. Time to put the mower away again.
Rain came and went over the next few days and the grass kept getting higher. The back yard was scary at this point. Poor Zipper, my Jack Russel, had areas where the grass what much higher than him. Because the dogs play out there all the time, some of the grass was trampled down, but it was still thick and high. I had cut about two or three strips off to the side when I had cut the front yard and even that was getting high again.
Enough was enough, the grass had to be cut! Who knew what was lurking in the grass, insects, rodents, it was time to conquer it so Monday, Memorial Day, I was out there. It had rained earlier in the morning, so I knew it was going to be rough, but it was climbing to 80 degrees for the day, so the grass had to be drying somewhat. I started in the back yard and began to cut. I started in the area I had already cut, figured it would be easier and it was in the sun, so it would dryer. As soon as I hit the higher grass, I knew I was in trouble. The lawn mower would continually stop because of the high, thick grass. I would have to back it up out of the high grass to restart it. I would cut an area for a bit, then see a really high area and just cut across the yard to break it up. My thinking was, if I broke it up into little pieces, it would be easier on the mower to go from high, then low, then high again. In reality, I’m sure it was some more of my ADHD. I’m so jealous of those who can go back and forth on their lawn in nice, neat rows, back and forth, so their yard looks great. My dad would do that. He would cut it one way one week, then another way the other. Sometimes back and forth, sometimes on an angle. My yard is cut in every direction, no rhyme or reason.
There were times I had to raise the mowers front wheels off the ground, go over a patch, then let the blades come down on it. I had enough sense to lock the dogs in the house, so I wouldn’t have to be worried about them getting in the way or getting hurt. Sadly, there were some loss of toys though. I couldn’t see them, one was a stuffed animal, all of a sudden I saw the stuffing some flying out from around the mower! Made me happy the dogs were inside, I felt it was safer.
I was dripping in sweat, the mower was stopping about ever 90 – 120 seconds. I reached one part of my lawn where the grass was so thick and so wet at the bottom that I could only get about a foot or two and it would stall. I was exhausted and my back was killing me from constantly pulling the cord on the mower. I can usually cut my back yard with one full tank of gas. I had filled it twice already. About 4:30 pm, I had been at it over two and a half hours, not counting two fifteen minute water / rest breaks and my mower was now stalling every foot of grass until it was out of gas yet again. I stopped. I was out of gas in my gas can and decided I had enough. Looking around at the patchy cutting I saw I still had about 1/4 of my back yard to cut and still tackle my front yard. I was done for the day.
So, as I type this, I realize I have to run to the gas station to get more gas and get out there to finish my yard at some point today. The grass WILL NOT WIN! I guess the one good thing is, I had a nice workout!
Moral of the story, don’t let your grass get too high. Just like so many things, if you ignore it, it will end up costing you more in the long run….in this case, more time, more energy, and more backache!