The New “Normal”

September 14, 2007

Travis, Tess and Dave Smith showed up yesterday morning to pick up wood scrap from the forest display area. They’re volunteers from Smiths Falls who run a lawn-services company from their home on my street. They’ve quietly put in several days on the walnut field and the trails through the woodlot, and deserve considerable credit for their efforts. Tess has bonded with my old Massey Harris and won’t let anyone else in the crew drive it.

In the afternoon Mom casually mentioned that she had to re-direct a guy in a small sedan who tried to take a shortcut across the ditch and through the garden on the way to the main road. The remarkable thing about it was that neither of us found the intrusion particularly unusual or upsetting. You get used to seeing strange vehicles picking their way around the property. The drivers are pretty nice people, and they’re all on a deadline.

Still, I was a bit taken aback by yellow tape strung across my accustomed golf-cart route yesterday afternoon. I saw the point of the fellow’s attempt to protect my walnut field and the pristine rocks of the pasture from casual explorers, but I need to drive there, so I relocated stakes enough to allow my normal, narrow trails.

Yesterday was mow-everything-day. The walnut seedlings may be nothing but brown drinking straws by next week, but they’ll be standing in a nicely-mowed field. They also look taller when the grass is short. The butternuts are hanging on, though the leaves are yellowing somewhat.

For sheer unadulterated misery few things can match mowing an orchard loaded with apples.

Today and tomorrow are given over to various Conservation Committee groups meeting at the farm, but I may sneak some time between groups to give some of the seedlings a drink.


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