Best laid plans of mowers and men
The weather is keeping us in a holding pattern
There are few things Nova Scotians like to talk about more than the weather, and we’ve certainly had lots to talk about on that topic.
Folks like to complain about it being too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry, too windy, or too everything!
Here it is the end of May, and as I walk across my front lawn, I hear, ‘squish, squish, squish!’ My lawn is getting so long for want of mowing, that the little birdies are getting lost in it. I see them standing on their tippy-toes to get their bearings, and to stare reproachfully at my house. Stupid birds, don’t they know they can fly! I’m not going to be judged like that!
After the first few squishes, I back warily off my lawn, much like you might back away from a mother bear with cubs. It’s with somewhat of that same trepidation, fearing perhaps that a huge sinkhole will open beneath my feet, sucking me down into a maelstrom of mud, water, and birdies too stupid to fly. Nope, it’s not getting mowed today either.
From the relative safety of my graveled driveway, I think about all the stuff I plan to do including changing the oil in my lawnmower, in the diminishing hope that I will one day soon be able to wheel it onto this quagmire of a lawn and do the whole rotary devastation thing. Faint chance though, as the temperatures are so cool that draining out the old sludgy oil in the lawnmower would be akin to watching molasses run uphill. Again, I must wait. Maybe I should toss those land-bound birdies a compass, so they can find their way out.
I walk the U-shaped driveway around my house to view my lawn from the other direction. Maybe it is less squishy on that side. Here though, the safety of my graveled driveway is not as assured. Stepping gingerly, I have to be careful not to move too far east, for fear I will fall into the great chasm that opened up on that side of the driveway in the deluge of winter rains that washed so much gravel down to the end of my driveway that kids on BMX bikes have been stopping by to ask if they could use that useless pile of gravel to do jumps.
Only recently have the load restrictions been removed from the highways. I hope that my contractor has lots of trucks, because he is going to need them to fill the great trench in my driveway that must reach all the way to China!
Did I mention it was an unkind winter? Well it was. Never mind ‘Fire and Ice.’ It was more like ‘Water and Ice.’ My snow blower hardly got enough exercise to work out the kinks from last year, but you’d think that would be no reason to complain. I might have to rethink that. I can complain about that because of the weather we got instead.
Usually, come winter, we can count on two or three warming weeks that would have some flowers starting to bud early, and for the hardy few to stroll about in t-shirts and shorts. Hah! Bet you didn’t haul out the shorts this year!
Instead, we only got one or two days of warmer temperatures at a time, and when it warmed up, it dumped a deluge of rain or snow on us, and then froze solid. I talked to guys who said their septic tanks froze up, self-generating heat sources that they are. The drainage pipe along the side of my driveway froze up about three quarters, and with the flood of rain we got, it backed up, sending water into and through one of my basement windows. My shop vac did get exercise, as did I, out at midnight on one of these torrential nights of rainfall, shoveling a hasty dike around said window to forestall washing my house fully off its foundation.
I’m well past putting paid to this past winter, and like so many other Nova Scotians, I am aching for a spring that I despair of ever arriving. C’mon Mother Nature, take pity on your beleaguered masses! We have lawns to mow and birdies to rescue! Rob Maclellan is an advocate for education and non-pro t organizations. He can be reached at 902-305-0311 or at email@example.com.