I couldn’t decide whether to write a piece on mowing grass or an update on Uh-Huh our resident baby bullfrog, so I decided to squeeze both into one article for the Backyard Birds & Buds section.
First, grass bags – the kind that attach to lawn mowers. For the past dozen years or more, I have owned lawn mowers with grass bags. Naturally, all the grass clippings find their way into the bag and not on the lawn.
That’s all well and good until the bag fills with damp grass that weighs 40 pounds or more and something then has to be done with the clippings. For several years, I dumped the grass in my garden, which created something of an eyesore, which my wife Nancy noticed. That was the end of that, and then I dumped them behind the house, which also created objections. I finally resorted to putting the clippings in plastic trash bags with each mowing.
But that drives me crazy, knowing that those plastic bags will languish in some landfill for years and years.
There had to be a better solution.
Early this spring, when the grass was thick and moist, my bag actually came detached from the mower and fell off. Since I only had a little more grass to mow, I finished without the bag and you know what? You don’t really need that bag? First, it weighs a ton and makes mowing harder, even with a power-propelled machine and then there are the clippings to contend with.
I remember Leroy Snow once saying on his radio garden program, Snow Knows, that he thought lawns did better when the clippings were mowed and scattered on the lawn rather than removed.
Since that fateful day this spring, my grass bag has stayed in the shed. The grass is doing fine, it’s easier to mow and I no longer have the trash bag dilemma. Problem solved.
Now for the frog update.
Uh-Huh the Frog showed up in our small lily pond back in May. We have no idea how he got there since Nancy had thoroughly cleaned the pool last fall and there were no tadpoles remaining whatsoever. But he showed up nonetheless and grew like wildfire. I assumed he was pigging out on small organisms in the pond to supplement his insect-catching talents, but last weekend Nancy saw him jump out of the pond. We were most concerned that since the 50-gallon pond is two feet off the ground, he would be unable to negotiate his way back. There are, however, a few rocks in place bedside the pond, which would make the climb back in easier if he knew how.
As it turns out, Uh-Huh knew how. He has been leaving the pond on a regular basis, particularly at nights where he has access to lots of bugs and crickets in the high grass. He’s not as dumb as we thought he was.
Frogs can easily find and get to water. That’s why they are frogs.