Thoughts with Richard Bleil
Yes, I do mow my lawn. I’m legally obliged to do so. I don’t mow it as frequently as I should, and yes, the mower (an electric one at that) will need to be restarted on occasion when I let it go too long, but I keep it decently mowed. Trimming is another matter.
I have an electric trimmer as well, but I really don’t enjoy trimming. It’s a relatively large lawn because I’m on a corner lot, and that trimmer gets to be heavy. I suppose I could split up the work over a couple of days, by my OCD won’t let me stop a job once I’ve started until it’s done. My wife hated that about me. She came home once to see me staining the play set in the back. She and the boys picked up paintbrushes and tried to help (the stain didn’t cover nearly as much area when they were helping), and eventually, all of them had had enough, including my so-called beloved wife. All of them left me to continue staining on my own until I had to stop because we ran out of stain. We would have had enough. Just saying.
Anyway, because I don’t trim as often as I should, my yard is becoming overgrown with what many would consider to be weeds around the edges. Now, I say many because, frankly, it gives my yard a wild look that I personally like. In fact, I was chatting with my neighbor the other day and he offered to just come over and trim my damned lawn if I wanted him to. But I don’t.
For example, I have a vine that is taking over my fence. The fence is in need of repair, but I’ve always like the look of vines. They’re not harming anything, just hanging out and soaking up rays. And, yes, they have buds. But the thing is, I’ve been seeing butterflies more and more around these “weeds”, including the now endangered Monarch. They seem to love these vines, and I love these butterflies. No, if I do anything, the vines stay. Last year, I did pay George to take care of my weeds and asked him to leave the vines. He didn’t. I was disappointed.
Some of my weeds are large bushy things. I’m thinking about what has to happen with these, but I’m not sure that I’ll cut them down entirely. For example, there is one growing near the north side of my fence, and it has extended past the fence and is blocking my front walkway. But Jerry, my groundhog, has been eating it. I don’t want to take away Jerry’s food source, especially since I think Jerry has either a child or friend. This is one where I’ll simply have to do something, though, including other weeds growing over the south fence blocking what used to be an ally but is not part of my property (as I understand it). Mowing around these weeds is a royal nuisance. They’re large and thick enough that often I have to walk beside my mower and try to guide it one-handed to avoid getting stuck in the leaves. I think I plan to trim these as if they are bushes, clearing the side that are blocking the sidewalk, but preserving the other.
Weeds can cause other problems, though. I have a couple that have grown, as it turns out, into my siding. They actually look very cool, but they’ll have to come down just so they don’t further damage the siding on my house. And I definitely have to clear the weeds from my central air intake. I have gas heat and really don’t want to breathe carbon monoxide or lose money to inefficiency due to an intake blocked by weeds. And I should still use the weeder to help clear the solar devices driving away moles that were creating dangerous soft spots in my yard (and they do work). I really love animals and don’t want to kill the little critters, but I had to chase them away. Now my neighbor is complaining about them in his hard. I guess I’ll have to write another blog soon apologizing to him.
Today I felt bad. Every day I put out bird seed and peanuts around the house (and a handful of cat food in the back). As I went out, a very unusual looking insect that looked like the cross between a bee and a wasp was working on the vine that has decided to take up residency around the railing of my side ramp. I fear I scared him and interrupted his work when I paid out the seed for the birds and refilled the water.