I always promised myself that if I ever lived on a large-ish property I’d let it revert to nature. I enjoy the untamed, natural look and the opportunity to provide a habitat for wildlife. Mowing a lawn wastes gasoline and it fouls the air. Besides, it’s hard work!
Wherever I moved, and for one reason or another, I did not follow through on the no-mow policy. As a matter of fact, when I lived in the most rural of settings surrounded by corn or soy beans, not only did I mow the entire expanse, I even reclaimed a portion that had gone to seed. Sow thistle and stinging nettle mostly. It was the right thing to do, especially as regards that nettle (vile, evil, demon weed from Hades). But still!
At my current address, most of the 3.5 acres is steeply sloped and heavily wooded. The house sits on a half acre of lawn at the foot of a ravine. When I first moved here, I considered letting nature reclaim the rear yard, but Neighbour South had a beautifully landscaped property. I didn’t want my place to be a jarring eye sore. For the first year or two, I kept the lawn trimmed. Until one day, South commented on how much he loved goldenrod.
“Really?” I said. “Would you be upset if I allowed the lawn to naturalize?”
“Not at all!” he said. To confirm his claim, next week he brought us some wild aster he found on a road trip.
Right now, September, the scene is glorious. The golden rod is in full bloom and the air is fragrant. Black-eyed Susan and Queen Anne’s Lace have taken hold. Only one of South’s aster’s survived, but volunteers have self-sowed here and there. At the rear of the yard, under the black walnut, I discovered a colony of tall plants that wasn’t there last year. Just last week they bloomed, and I believe they are Jerusalem Artichoke, a native plant with edible tubers. That’s kind of cool, but also a bit disconcerting given the colony is about three metre’s square where last year there was nothing!
Deer and wild turkey visit regularly. I’ve seen a fox quite often this year and for the first time in the six years I’ve lived here, chipmunks have taken up residence by the dozens. I think that’s because the property across the street has been bulldozed which forced the chippies out. For the third straight year, a semi-tame coyote roams the woods, too. He plays with neighbour South’s dog. The birds and butterflies are happy.
And so am I.
The Prompt for Writing Essential Group for Thursday September 4, 2014
Come along and join in the fun!