Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Grow or Mow? How about both!

So we finally got our push reel mower.

It actually exceeded my expectations!

If I had thought about it, it would have been good to get before and after shots of the lawn, but I was having too much fun mowing! Ha! Mowing? Fun?! By the way, I did most of the lawn, Mark just grabbed it before I could go over the spots I missed. :)

The yard was about 6 inches tall for the most part, and mostly consisted of clover. Of course there was also the occasional clump of grass about 2 feet tall. This is the first time we've mowed for the season, by the way. We were just determined to hold out until we got our reel mower.

It could hack away at parts of the tall plants, but we just used this thing for those:

I don't suppose a reel mower would be for the lawn perfectionist, but then a perfectionist would have never let their lawn get as high as ours. And I imagine it would work great for trimming up well manicured grass.

At $200 it was a bit of an investment, and I was disappointed that Lowes didn't carry any catch bags for it (of course I was surprised Lowes carried the reel mowers at all - they said they've been selling a lot, though!). I figured it would be worth the investment since we would never have to buy gas for it, or pay for expensive replacement parts. Mowers are so notorious for breaking down.

The most profound advantage was how quiet it was. Usually mowing is associated with deafening noise and noxious fumes. With the reel mower it was just the sound of the rotating blades and cutting grass. I can still hear the birds singing, my husband calling for me, or the kettle start to scream on the stove top.

All in all, I think it is one of the best investments we have ever made.

In other news, we decided to forgo housework and take a canoing trip down the Caney Fork. We have lived for years (6 for me, almost 10 for Mark) with this gorgeous river right at our back door, and never canoed on it. So today we did. And it was awesome.

Taken with Mark's phone

This is the old railroad bridge where the opening scene for The Green Mile was filmed.

We got more pictures but they were taken with an old waterproof disposable camera leftover from our honeymoon cruise. We actually have to get film developed!

In other news the chicks are growing strong, and loving their coop. In fact, I've been letting them free range (under supervision). I've only had one hawk (a redtail) take a swipe at them, and he was quickly chased off by the dogs.

These young ladies are particularly adventurous. They were labeled red sex-links at Tractor Supply, but I'm leaning more toward golds. Notice the German shepherd  pup (Tala) in the background. She's the only one one out of our 5 dogs that is still learning chickens are NOT for eating.

The black sex-links are beginning to get their brown feathers. This was also before we mowed the lawn, by the way. They are so fun to watch, chasing bugs around the yard. Pretty soon all but 5 will be heading to my parents' place.

I'm loving the raw goat's milk! But I'm beginning to realize that a gallon a week isn't enough. I find that I go through it quickly just drinking it. So whenever I have to use it in cooking, it almost hurts! So I'm thinking we might get a half share of cow's milk to compensate. And I'll have extra cream for making butter! A win-win.

Well, that's all I'm going to ramble about for now. After mowing and canoing my under-used muscles need some R&R.

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