May 052024

It was a beautiful day yesterday, with temperatures in the mid-80s and a lot of blue sky overhead. A perfect day for mowing, and that’s what we did for most of the day. But before that, I picked a few strawberries from one of Terry’s raised garden beds, and they are sweet and delicious.

Terry also found these mushrooms or whatever they are growing in one of her raised garden beds. She did not plant them and we don’t know what they are or if they are edible or not, so they will have to go.

We all know I love dogs, I tolerate cats because Terry says I have to, and I do love watching the deer who hang out in our pasture. Now snakes? That’s another story. I don’t like big snakes, I don’t like small snakes, and I don’t like sticks that look like snakes. There was a time when I would shoot any snake on sight, but now that Miss Terry has me house broken I don’t do that.

So when I encountered this garter snake in the backyard, I was not happy to see it. I wanted it gone before Alli started playing with it, because we have rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins in this area, and I don’t want her to think they are something she can mess with. Using the handle of a rake, Terry picked it up and got it out of the way before Alli saw it, and it promptly crawled under the deck and out of sight.

After filling the Husqvarna riding mower with gas and checking the oil for Terry, I got on the Kubota tractor and started knocking down some of the high weeds back by the barn with the bush hog. It did a very good job, but there are still quite a few downed limbs and branches in there from a big storm last year that I have to get out of the way before I can finish that chore.

Next, I wanted to mow the big pasture behind the house. The last time I mowed, it I left the back part of it alone because I wanted the bees to have plenty of clover, but by now it was getting really high and weeds were choking out most of the clover. In the meantime, other areas I had mown before had grown back up with clover, so I knew there would still have plenty for their needs. Again, the bush hog did a good job in that area.

However, when it came to mowing the rest of the pasture, I quickly learned that having the bush hog on while using the belly mower is not a good idea. The tail wheel of the bush hog turned sideways every time I wanted to make a turn and would dig a groove into the ground. It also seemed to use a lot more fuel with it dragging behind me. It will come off the next time I use just the belly mower which is easier in the pasture when the grass isn’t too high.

There were also some places where we had the new septic lines put in that still haven’t grown over, and when I tried to cross them to get to other areas, the wheel of the bush hog would dig in to the soft ground. If I raised it, I also raised the belly mower, making it ineffective.

Fortunately there wasn’t much of that area and Terry was able to get it with the riding mower after she mowed the front and side yards and the backyard between the house and pasture.

I would have liked to have gotten some more bush hogging done, but as I said, first I have to go through there and get all of the branches and tree limbs out that are hiding in the high grass and weeds. I also need to get some more diesel, because by the time I got done yesterday I was under 1/4 of tank and I don’t want to run it too low.

By the time we were finished everything looked a lot better and we were both more than ready to come inside and enjoy some air conditioning and drink some ice water.

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Pirate Trials: Hung By The Neck Until Dead by my pal Ken Rossignol. The second in the series of Pirate Trials drawn from news reports of the day and actual trial documents. Join this bloodthirsty crew of pirates on ships which includes the dying declarations of the most brutal and vicious deeds ever set upon innocent civilians and merchant ship crews. The Demon Rum is cited as the chief cause by one pirate for his awful and murderous acts. Their day of reckoning came when they faced their final day of judgement when captured in Spain. In another tale, when a crew of passengers leapt from their disguises to overpower a steamship after it left New York on a trip to Portland, Maine, the pirates claimed the ship in the name of the Confederacy, at the height of the Civil War! Learn what happened to the ship and the pirates.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 30 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. I bet this kid’s degree isn’t in English.

Thought For The Day – I’m at that age where the next day my body whispers to me, “Please don’t do that again.”

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Strawberries, Snakes, And Mowing, Too”

  1. I see a shadow of a satellite dish. Is that a remnant from the previous owner or is that how you get your TV?

  2. On my BX Kubota tractor, there was a knob to turn that would allow you to use the hydraulics on the belly mower or the bush hog. I had that problem too, when I went to lower the grader box, the mower deck went down to. I figured there has to be a way to use one or the other but not both at the same time, so I read the manual, and yep there was my solution. The knob was black and hard to turn, I don’t remember if it was the knob to set the cutting height of the belly mower or not. I sold my tractor, so can’t remember.

  3. Rick, yes, we have Dish TV

  4. Cathy, I have the dial to lock the belly mowewr up in place so it does not lower, but I don’t have a way to do the same with the bush hog, which works off the 3-point hitch.

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