I have an unused acre of land on the east side of my property. I call it my meadow. Once a year, before the rains of November, I have it bush hogged to keep it in check, but otherwise, I let it go wild. It probably makes the neighbors angry, to see this messy, unkempt field next to their carefully manicured, but woefully sterile, lawn. Hey, folks - we're in the country. Get over it.When I first moved in, I mowed this acre regularly, to keep up with the neighborhood standard. It was never used by anything or anyone, including me. Now, it is full of meadowlarks and butterflies, sparrows and all manner of wildflowers. This summer, I found myself frustrated when I was unable to get into the heart of the field, to examine a flower or chase a butterfly. Next year, things will be different.
Since the field was just bush hogged, and the day was bright, warm, and dry, I decided to carve some walking paths through my little meadow. One long, swooping, lazy "S" runs from top to bottom, and a second, twisting windy trail crosses the first at several points. I added a couple of extra accesses and a connecting spur, then seeded the meadow with some common milkweed, from pods I picked up this fall.I think I have the basis for a nice little nature trail.The dogs inspected my work and pronounced it satisfactory. To be specific, it rates "Two Sniffs" on their Smell-o-meter. Deer or rabbit poop would have given me more points, I think.I am already excited to see how this area developes next spring. I hope to be able to bring you updates as the seasons progress. All I have to do is keep my pathways mowed and let nature do the rest.