Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's Lawn Care Time

We got our first flyer in the mail yesterday for lawn care, telling me they can help me "get the thick, green weed-free lawn I've always wanted!" Rick knows that's one of my hot buttons, so he brings in the mail and tells me he's going to call these guys for an estimate. "Give me that f---in' thing" I snarl as he laughs. I look through the brochure before putting it in the recycling bin. This company has an interesting twist, I can pay for "the highest quality professional lawn care service" while a portion of every dollar I spend is donated to local fundraising organizations in our local area. Do you suppose I should alert my local Audubon chapter to this fundraising opportunity?

Years ago when we moved to this 5 acres in the country, we had the experience with our first dog (Candy) having a seizure after she walked on one of the neighbor's treated lawns. We were stupid, didn't know anything about it . . . but you can bet it was one of the most terrifying things that ever happened to us, not knowing what was happening to our furry child. After I called the vet, one of the questions they asked was whether we had recently put any chemicals on our lawn. "Would that cause her to have a seizure?" I asked. "Oh yes," the vet replied. If lawn chemicals can do that to a dog, wouldn't it also do it to a human? You bet, and why would anyone with children playing in the yard even consider using them??
In addition to killing crabgrass and greening-up my lawn faster, the lawn care company also can provide me with "insect control specially designed" for my yard. Do you suppose those pesticides only target certain insects I would consider a pest? Not! They're going to poison every insect. And then what happens to my bluebirds and robins and flickers when they eat one of these poisoned insects? Yes, the birds die too.
You know what, I can live with a ton of dandelions and even crabgrass (the birds love to forage on the ground and eat the seeds in the fall). I have had a chemical-free yard for several years now and have been blessed with a huge increase in birds and wildlife. Not to mention the money I save not having to buy the chemicals or services (which I can turn around and spend on birdseed).

When you're driving past our yard on the highway, did you ever notice the "Do Not Mow or Spray" signs along the road ditch? Know where they came from? That's right, I bought them with my own money and put them up and you know what? The highway department hasn't mowed or sprayed since I put them up probably 8 years ago! Red-Winged Blackbirds have nested in the ditch and you should see the butterflies every summer.

I love the wildness and untidy look of my yard and I'm working on Rick to try and accept this also. Since I'm the official groundskeeper now, I guess he's just going to have to learn to live with it. "Happy Wife, Happy Life"

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