Today, for the first time in about a month, I cut the grass. I’m pretty sure the last time I cut it was just before we went to KY at the beginning of July. It’s not that it didn’t need it before now, it’s more like, this was the first time it has been dry enough when I had time to do it.
When I pulled the mower out from under the deck (which is where I park it), two American toads (Rufus americana) came bounding out from there. Not being terribly eager to cut the grass, I went back in the house and fetched the camera. I set it up and approached the larger of the two toads. It leapt under the deck. Ahhh, forget it. I’ve got plenty of toad pictures already.
My lawn is fascinating to me. Most people who take pride in their lawns do so because they work very hard to turn it into a monoculture – one plant species, and always a grass at that. I probably have 30 species of herbaceous forbs in my yard (meaning not grass). Before I got started, I set a rock near the bluets. They volunteered in my yard, and as of right now, that little patch is the only place I know where they are still blooming. I do not want to cut them down! Last year I did just that. The rock saved me from making the same error this year.
I also cut down a lot of wood sorrel, some oak ferns, Indian tobacco, red clover, white clover, hop clover, birdsfoot trefoil, hawkweed, dandelions, fleabane, Queen Anne’s lace, yarrow, various asters, goldenrod, milkweed, and plantain. To me this is far more fascinating than some boring monoculture. And you can believe it when I say that I didn’t cut down all of any species. If I don’t know of another place where something grows on my property, I will mow around it. For example – the bluets. I keep a weedy section in the back too. It’s too rocky to mow, and I get boneset, milkweed, loosestrife, and goldenrod in abudence there. That’s also where my monkey flower and ground nut grows. Also some cow vetch. And asters galore. But mostly blackberries.
I think I’ve got some lavender growing in the middle of the back yard too. It’s pretty low though, so I didn’t put a rock by it. It must have escaped from the garden. I’m sure it’s better off in the middle of the yard too, because is sure ain’t makin’ it in the place I planted it four years ago.
Speaking of the garden, I killed only one Japanese beetle today, and it was on a milkweed plant. My squash bloomed yesterday too, and today I found five more blossoms. We’ll see if it does anything this year or not. The corn seems somewhat dwarfed. I guess I just don’t have enough light. The beans are a bit on the sparse side too, and that was before the beetles invaded.