and they wear tiny sunglasses and earpieces.

Lawn maintenance and landscaping: not my favorite tasks in the whole world. They do, however, provide a handy excuse for unsheathing a machete.

Funny thing about the chickens: as skittish as they are when it comes to unfamiliar sights and noises, they don’t mind the lawnmower at all. They’ll graze right in front of it and will only grudgingly move out of the way when the mower is close enough to almost bump them. Moreover, they’ve learned that the mower chases off bugs (and shreds the ones that don’t get out of the way in time), so they actually follow me around when I mow to catch the refugees and broken bugs. It’s like having my own little phalanx of poultry Secret Service agents around me when I mow the front yard.

Someone requested an update on the state of the novella, so here it is: it ain’t done yet. I had to spend most of my writing time the last few weeks on edits for Book #2, and then the kids were home from camp and we went off and did some family things together. I still intend to finish and release the novella in August, but depending on how much (or little) editing it needs, it may be September before it’s in sellable shape. I’m not going to finish something and then upload it to the Kindle store ten minutes later because OMG THE MONIEZ—there are way too many first drafts masquerading as finished product out there as it is. But rest assured that a.) it will be out soon, and b.) it will not suck.

10 thoughts on “and they wear tiny sunglasses and earpieces.

  1. We refer to the barn swallows that follow us around while mowing as our “fighter escort”

  2. When I ran a brush-hog over a couple of fields ages ago, barn swallows and a fox would follow behind so they could get the edibles that had been stirred up.

  3. Reminds me of summerfollow (which no one does anymore) when I was in my teens. Seagulls would see a digging cultivator and flock in – usually started with one… then he’d bring the whole flock. I started calling them my own personal assault squadron :)

  4. I remember being a kid and riding on the back of the riding lawn mower when my dad was mowing the back part of the back yard. He never did it much because of all the trees, but when he did I came with him because over the first few cuts you could catch like 100 praying mantis’ and the occasional snake or two.

  5. I’ve known people around here(Oklahoma) who kept a few chickens just to keep the bug population down. Works, too.

    I’ve had robins come down and follow me when tilling the garden to grab what edibles get turned up.

  6. We pour tens of thousands of tons of chemicals on our lawns. Needlessly. Lawns reflect a 200-year-old Romantic dream of fusing ourselves with nature. Yet that very dream now poses a major threat to the nature it so lovingly celebrates. Everyone with a pocket-handkerchief of a lawn thinks they need their own several-hundred-dollar noise-making polluting neighbor-annoying petrol-mower. Why? MOST suburban lawns do not need the great enormous waste of power mowers.

    • 1.) My lawn isn’t a suburban lawn.
      2.) I don’t pour anything on it except sweat.
      3.) Feel free to come by and mow it for me with a hand-mower, or whatever cheap non-polluting device you favor.