Well last Sunday I decided that I needed to mow the upper field #2. Since Mr. Professional is helping me we have devised a simple way to talk about the various fields. We start from the upper bottom pasture and number them in ascending order 1-4. Then you have the “pea field” down by mother in laws house then you have lower pasture down by schoolhouse. This forgets about the 1 acre piece closer to mother-in-law’s house and across the creek. We don’t talk about that field specifically so it just gets tossed into the schoolhouse field.
I had sprayed #2 field a couple of weeks earlier but it is so thick and tall it needs to be knocked down then sprayed 2 weeks later to kill the thistles. I drove up there in the tractor and remembered to add on a crescent wrench so I could fix the broken gate.
After fixing the gate, there was some internal dialogue about fixing the gate on my way out of the field, but you never know what is going to happen so I opted to just fix the gate first thing as a safer move. I think the bolt just came loose and it fell down, I don’t believe it was anything nefarious.
I started mowing on the left hand side of the field first. It’s the smaller side and I would get to see results sooner. The pecker poles are amazing! I knew exactly where the water was and was able to not get the tractor stuck. As I continued to go around in circles I kept spotting the baby deer. There were four different deer all had spots and they were about dog sized and running all over the place. The pheasants are also plentiful this year. I jumped four juvenile roosters that had their colors but no tail feathers at all. Since it was almost a 100 F outside I had raised the mower deck about 14 inches off of the ground. The weeds are incredibly thick and I did not want the mower to get overheated. My goal is simply to knock them down so that when I drive over the area with the side by side the spray gets evenly distributed. You could see where some swaths of field had great spray coverage and others were limited by the height of the weeds and spray dispersement.
I was taking a break after the first section was done when Richard pulled out and asked me if I was ok. He is the one who pulled the tractor out of the mud for me. He thought I had gotten stuck again as I was parked near where I was buried before. I chuckled and thanked him for checking on me but no, I was taking a break as the field is very rough and furrowed from the flooding and the tractor is beating me up. It really works your lower back muscles.
There are hawks everywhere! We have at least 6-8 living all over the farm. It is pretty amazing. I am sure that at least two of them are juveniles as our nesting pair is back but we may now have two pair of nesting hawks. They used to only be on the upper end of the property but are now the full length of the place.
I started in on the second half and about halfway through tragedy struck!! The weeds are tall and you cannot see the ground. I do pay attention as I don’t want to hit rocks and need to stay on the completed line so I can get finished in a timely manner. I came around in a shorter square pattern, I get tired of doing the entire field and tend to break them up into pieces. It looks like I am getting done quicker. I came back around and saw a 1-2 day old fawn on the ground dying. I had run over it with my actual tractor wheel. If I had mowed over it the fawn would have been just fine as the mower is set high, but alas of the four foot wide swath my tractor makes only a 2.5 foot tire free zone. This did cause me angst for the rest of the day. The fawn never tried to get up or run away and it was so much younger than all the other babies I had been watching run all over the fields.
After mowing I spent another hour digging more ditches. I managed to not get stuck this time. There is still water coming out of the ground and forming a small running spring. This water does not leave the field it ends up running down about half way and getting reabsorbed. I finished the field and went back and cleaned off the tractor. A couple of days later I had come to terms with the mowing tragedy. I took a finished photo below.