I went out and did some raking again today. I'm trying to get some of the Fireweed stalks raked up in the hopes the areas can be mowed. This time I didn't wear my wool shirt and I lasted much longer than last time. I lasted until a sneezing fit drove me into the house to wash my face. I've grown allergic to spruce trees when they dust their pollen all over the place, and early spring is when their dust is the thickest. Left over dust from winter doesn't help though.
During my raking I discovered a few clumps called Niger Head grass. I cringe every time I hear that name but if they have some more official name, I don't know it. Niger Head can get quite big - big humps of root clumps. Found out on the trail or on the perimeter of a swamp especially during the winter, they can dump a snowmachine over unless the trail is already packed and such lumps are compensated for. I don't think I'm going to have that kind of trouble with these little clumps. The lawn mower or the weed eater will have something to say about that.
All around the edges of our yard is last year's native grass, now all dry and laying down. Once was the time I'd go out and collect that dry grass by the haystack to use for the chickens and ducks the rest of the year. At the time I wished for a hay baler because finding a dry place around here to store a haystack isn't easy.
Of course, the vast majority of our yard is the normal yard grass most everyone has in their yard. Personally, I prefer the wild grass kept cut. You can't cut that short like you can lawn grass. Maybe if it was cut every few days, but I doubt it. Cut short, the wild grass is not so green and rather course. Cut kinda long though, say six inches or so, and it's really quite soft and rather lush. Course, if you don't cut it, it doesn't take long for it to reach six feet and a tunnel would be necessary to get to the outhouse.
Domestic grass really must be kept short. Allowed to grow long, it's no less lush but it lays over and can trip up one's feet. Sadly, it rains a lot here (usually) and cutting the grass in the rain really sucks in so many ways. The grass, however, loves the rain and positively explodes with growth, so waiting for it to dry enough to cut between showers just might not be possible. Therefore, it's either cut the wet grass when the opportunity knocks or wait for an extra long sunny break. Needless to say, such days don't always happen, so cutting the extra long domestic grass is a huge pain involving a good deal of raking.
This all leads me back to today. Though I'm concentrating on Fireweed, much of the rest will get my attention too, until I have to go to work, and if the ground isn't dry enough to rake before then, well, maybe I'll manage to get it raked up before we need to mow again. The whole thing is complicated this year. We dropped two trees in the yard last winter. I'll likely get the branches moved sometime this summer.
In case you're curious, there's still some snow here and there. There's still water running across the trail and now the ground is starting to thaw out there so it's getting really muddy. I'm taking the raked up grass and walking it into the mud. It helps, and with luck, enough seed heads are present to start some grass growing there. The roots will help to stabilize the mud somewhat.
It still freezes at night, but just barely, and the water in the river is still too low to drive a boat anywhere. I guess we should have kept the jet boat. It might have been eighteen feet long but it drove well and it could manage this level of water.