When You Are Insane


When you are insane, you get the idea that cutting the lawn by hand with trimming shears is a great idea. If you’re sane, it’s not something that crosses your mind. But the grass around the tofu cabin has turned into tall grass. It’s more a wild meadow than a lawn, a fact my husband keeps reminding me. But the chickens like the tall grass. And the tall grass looks like it would be great nesting material if cut nicely and dried.


Ruby is curious what I am doing. Often if I am out by the tofu cabin, half the flock comes out to investigate what I am up to. But it’s only Ruby who spends the afternoon with me, seeing what the crazy one is doing.


For her it’s an opportunity to find things to eat in the cut grass. Most of the time when chickens are pecking at things in the grass, it’s impossible to see what they find. Tiny beetles, mites, spiders, ants, basically anything that moves is what they eat.


A lawnmower would turn the tall grass into pulpy mulch. The sharp shears cut the grass clean and make it easy to rake into lovely windrows. In less time than you imagine, I have a fluffy windrow of cut grass. This should make great nesting material for the hens.

There is a thick, soft blanket of moss at the bottom of the grass. I’m sure it will feel lovely against a hen’s tush. The robins (Turdus migratorius) sure love it. They’ve carted sheets of moss off to make thick, plushy nests. There is a doctoral thesis waiting to be written: “Impact of nesting material on the survivability of robin chicks.”

Speaking of things doctoral, remembering the scientific names for animals and plants can be difficult. But the scientific name for robins, Turdus migratorius, sticks easily. Think “migrating turds” and you’ll recall Turdus migratorius in a flash.


Another windrow. These will dry nicely in the sunny summer days. I just need to figure out a dry place to store them before the rains return this fall. But when you’re insane, the possibilities are endless.

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