We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
One of our old hayfields has been over-run with Goldenrod. It makes for a pretty sight in August, but there is no hay there anymore, and the upper part is all Milkweed, to the delight of the Monarch butterflies.
Rather than trying to rehabilitate it as a hayfield by deep-plowing, re-seeding for a couple of years with red clover, and plowing again and re-seeding with good hayseed, the current low-cost plan is just to mow it every two years, and to let the animals and birds enjoy it - which they do. Don't need more hay. Sparrows, snakes, and Wild turkey like it as is. And deer, of course, by the bushel. And I have noticed that the beaver come out of the marsh to eat stuff in the meadow at night.
I have planted junipers next to the rocks, because with high growth you cannot see the rocks when you mow. Also, putting Bluebird houses on each rock, which the Tree Swallows seem to take over. Last summer I stupidly drove a tractor right up on one rock, about a 3' item I forgot about, and not only did it scare the bejesus out of me, but it also took another tractor to pull it off. Picture the front wheels of a Farmall four feet in the air, and a boulder jammed under the crankcase. Three Stooges.
Mark the rocks before you mow. A good adage in rocky Yankeeland, where glacial boulders are one of our main crops. Like measure twice, cut once.
You can see how the dang White Pines had been invading that field about 15 years ago. That process has been halted by aggressive border patrol, but it's a big job to roll it back. Cannot get a logging truck over the bridge, so it's sweat and chain saw. One step at a time. It's an excellent work out.
Beautiful. I'd think more often than every two years. Where we are, twice a summer is the only way to keep the pine and scrub at bay. Wasn't Ballantyne's involved in the Battle of the Rock? Or was that just while chain-sawing? Ho-hum...the laborer is worth his pay...
Ayuh...Us frugal types are still using the inherited dying garbage ride on mower. No bushwacker...But I have been looking longingly at real tractors in eager anticipation of the old mower's demise...Previous management cared nothing for wildlife or aesthetics (clear cut trees for cash). We do have wicked noisy coyotes as well as black bears.
All you need to take care of trees are some young boys with hatchets. My cousin and I used to sneak off into the woods and chop down trees for fun when I was a kid. We could take down some big ones too. We'd try to make tree bridges over steep parts of the gulley out back.
Of course cutting them neatly into logs to be hauled away would be another thing entirely...
What wd you recommend we replace the old ride-on mower with? To. maintain 200 hilly, rocky, mostly wooded acres. One 40 acre field w blueberries signposting the rocks (bears and I prefer em to gin). Lots of wood hauling for the stove. Dirt roads and driveway. Hubby high on cheap Japanese stuff, me wanting something American, simpler, that the local garage can fix.