This evening I finally mowed the far reaches of my side yard. Although I would love to let it grow wild and be a nature preserve, I’m sure the township would not approve. My back yard, however, is a different story.
My dogs trample enough grass down in the back that I mow only a small part, mostly near the gate. They have made a natural trail which I enhanced by putting down premium black mulch. That path leads from my deck to the space in my yard that has become a garden. Tonight I planted some lettuce and radishes next to the carrots that were already there. I had forgotten how much work it was! I was adding 72 tiny plants in those little pellets. It’s a good thing I didn’t remember there were that many pellets when I began putting them in the ground or I might have stopped. I watered them and hoped they would grow to be part of future salads.
Two corners of the yard have been turned over to the wild — wildflowers that is. Of course, dandelions are the most predominant right now, those puff balls proudly surviving frost and torrential rain. I planted some purple phlox by the circle of stones. Carnations, coneflowers, and some others I can’t remember are in the ground now. There’s a stump of the tree that almost fell on my house last fall. There’s a Japanese lantern and a Buddhist bodhisattva with a teaching mudra. And there’s the weathered bench where I often sit and chant my mantra.
So before I started mowing the western side yard, I walked it and tossed branches out of the way and picked up water bottles and a plastic bag filled with grocery store ads. As I was heading back to my garage, I noticed a hole in the ground. It was sort of a sideways hole and there was dirt in front of it, like a little front yard before all the overgrown grass surrounding it. I wondered whose home it was. I’d seen a rabbit lately in that field but this hole seemed too small for her. The grass was really high since my riding mower had to be taken to the John Deere Hospital to find out why it wouldn’t start. It was gone five days then it rained about that many. My real fear was that I’d run over some baby bunnies. That was the main reason I was walking the field before mowing.
So I took those water bottles thrown out someone’s car window and that plastic bag filled with store ads and I carefully placed them in a circle surrounding the mystery hole. These random items would mark the spot. When I was on the mower they would warn me to steer clear to save whatever critter called it home.
what is the cost of saving something wild?
only a little extra time,
a deep breath, a sweet heart.