Monday, September 9, 2013

Look Up My Dear and See, a Mower Swinging in a Tree...

So, my last post was in May when we acquired our dandy little "Zippy" the Zero Turn Mower.  Since then I have not mowed the yard ONE time. My darling hubby has taken over all the mowing now. He is delighted to come home from work, change clothes and go dancing with Zippy all over our yards and fields. Personally, I am equally delighted. Mowing isn't my thing.

Getting Zippy removed me from having to mow. It also left me more time to do other things that need work, like weeding...sigh. Some weeds I have learned to eat. The others, have to go. Picking and choosing your battles with nature is just one of many homesteading skills you acquire.

I have learned that one of the skills required for successful homesteading is to practice the process of "elimination through acclimation. "The exercise is to simply  practice accepting the "thing" that bothers me until it becomes just a daily fixture on the homestead. If I can't get rid of something I don't like on the homestead, I need to adjust to it being there. Easier said than done.

Just one of the many things that I struggle to acclimate myself to is dead and dismembered lawn mowers. We have an entire family of dead, mowers and weed eaters of all types and sizes scattered around the front of Brad's shop. Some have been there for so long, they support their own ecosystem for the local wildlife. For example: Just recently, I went to move a dead push mower and found a rabbit nest. How cute! A little fur lined abode complete with a dead mower sun porch. Those bunnies have it made!

 Last year's walk through the mower graveyard was much more exciting. I picked up a disassembled push mower skeleton in my path to the shop storage. To my horror, I found an active  nest of ground bees. They were not happy I pulled the roof off their home. The bee incident led me to discover something entirely new about myself: I can run much faster when pumped full of fear and adrenaline. Nothing like an angry bee induced sprint for your life to get your heart rate up.

I have also discovered that old riding lawn mower frames make excellent trunk supports for young sapling trees. Seriously, the engine compartment protects the young tree and it grows straight up through the topless frame. Should this new found tree support information become a landscaping fad, we could make a tidy sum from our dead mowers.

 My husband has acclimated to this "tree in the mower" scenario. For me...not even close.

I can see it now...in 30 years folks who visit our homestead will walk by the shop and gaze up into the boughs of the sycamore trees...their contented gaze transforms into a wide eyed stare of disbelief...among the leafy branches, suspended 25 feet in the air, behold...a rusted Yard Man riding lawnmower!...impaled directly through the once empty engine compartment by an ever widening tree trunk. Around the trunk, inside the engine compartment...several families of Purple Martins have nested and are busy raising their young.

A closer look as this bizarre sight reveals a  large squirrel nest firmly entrenched inside the ragged mower seat. Their gaze of amazement travels along the contorted frame to the front of the mower to see a rusted, twisted front axle...supporting a huge hornets nest swinging gently in the summer breeze.

Hmmmm...wonder how long it would take me to acclimate to this "mower in a tree" situation? I've been looking at it every day for 3 years...ain't happened yet.

I have decided this "strange but true" mower scenario will NEVER happen.  There is no way, my future "80 something" self will have to embarrassingly explain why we have a dead riding mower  stuck in a tree 25 ft. in the air.

This is one instance of where "Elimination through Acclimation" transforms into "Acclimation BY Elimination."  I am firmly convinced that after 3 years, I can easily acclimate to NOT seeing dead mowers and their rusted parts swinging in the tree tops. I know, in my heart of hearts, that I CAN adapt to not seeing disembodied mowers litter the area in front of our shop.

Soon, (when it gets too cold for bees and snakes) I'm going to do a body count of all those mowers and their disassembled parts. Once I have idea of what's out there, I'll call the local scrap yard and have them come pick it up. We'll even make a bit of cash from selling the "s'crap" we won't use.

I figure it will be much easier for the scrap man to come get the mowers now. Otherwise, we'll need to hire a tree trimming company to do it.