Though Iím glad the weather has warmed and it seems that dang rodent in Pennsylvania may have been right about an early spring, I hate the thought of having to mow again.
These odd weeds have sprouted up all over my yard. Mostly yellow, which is fine with me. Yellow was my daddyís favorite color, except being raised in Texas, he called it alternately "yella" or "yeller" depending on his mood, I guess.
A bunch of these have sprouted around the boat, along with those thick, moist things that have stalks that resemble celery but when you hit Ďem with a weedeater they splash thick, sticky gunk all over your shoes and pant legs.
They also sprout along the edges of the house, and when you hit Ďem with the weedeater there, they spray that stuff all over the vinyl siding. Yuck, then you gotta go get the hose and some sort of industrial cleaner to get it off.
I also have these odd looking, skinny, half-nekkid plants cropping up all over the open spaces of the yard. Theyíve got tiny yellow flowers on these uplifting arms. I think the stems are kinda red, but Iím not sure. Ugly as sin, whatever they are, but at least theyíre notÖgooey.
Thereís also clover coming out. Thatís my worst enemy. Clover is indestructible. You canít cut clover with even the sharpest lawnmower blade (to which mine come nowhere close) you just beat it down into submission, and it pops right back up the next day. My lawnmower blades are never sharp like my neighborís, and thatís because he has the patience and good sense to pick up anything in the yard that might dull his blades. Me, if the stick that fell out of my oak tree is less than an inch in diameter, I figure a steel lawnmower blade can handle it, and I just plough right over that thing. This is why my neighborís lawn looks like the freshly-crew-cut head of an Army drill sergeant, and mine looks like the head of Cosmo Kramer. I donít pick up sticks, rope, tin cans, paper cups, bricks or chunks of concrete unless they are big enough to stop the mower in its tracks. Be careful of projectile boat anchors if you pass by my house when Iím cutting grass.
And thatís a total admission that Iím a slob when it comes to yard work. I freely admit that. There are people I admire greatly who take great pride in their lawns and manicure it intimately. Really, I envy such diligence. I am more interested in gettiní Ďer done. Iím like my father. If it was spring and the grass needed cutting and the water was good for the bass fishiní youíd see him in our yard in fifth gear, engine screaming, turning corners on two wheels on our old Snapper Comet, causing the blade to gouge long crescents clean through the lawn into the dirt, dashing through my motherís prized day lilies in a spew of green-and-yellow expulsion, and when he was done heíd kill the switch on the Snapper right where he finished, throw open the door to the boatshed and be gone before you could say "edge and trim."
Spring, of course, does not come without its drawbacks, and mowing the lawn is one of them. First I have to go inflate all the tires on my lawnmower, which invariably have gone flat over the winter. Then I have to charge the battery, which has invariably gone dead as well. If there are no further mechanical issues, Iíll be ready to mow ugly, spindly plants with tiny yellow flowers, celery-like sticky-stuff, and unfortunately purple oxalis and those little wild onions that grow in the yard. It breaks my heart to cut those guys, I love Ďem.
Out comes the weedeater. I have a love-hate relationship with weedeaters. Whoever invented the weedeater should be presented the Nobel Peace Prize then shot by a firing squad. I firmly believe the best weedeater comes in a jug with a spray nozzle, but I pursue the task at hand anyway for the first few weeks until I am sick and tired of digging string out of the little round head of the thing, cutting the toes off my shoes and otherwise making a mess of things. Worst of all, when taking the head off to dig string out, it pops loose like a catapult and the spring inside is hopelessly lost forever and ever, Amen. Then Mr. Roundup is my pal and Iím done. All those brown edges in the yard? Borders framing an overall lovely piece of art.
All thatís fine and dandy when itís done, except Iím too tired to go fishing. I donít have my fatherís level of energy, I guess. Heíd be greatly disappointed in me, Iím sure.
I keep promising Iím going to let the yard go back to nature. Just throw wildflower seeds out from one corner to the other. Mix in some vegetable seeds like tomatoes, peppers, beans and corn and I can probably sustain a population of pygmies. While my neighbors on either side mow neat, straight lines from road to bayou right on the edge of my nature conservancy, I will sit smug at my window knowing that not only am I providing habitat for songbirds, bobwhite quail, anacondas and hermit crabs, but I can fish anytime I want to, too.