Mary, a farm woman who volunteers at our CSA, asked the question "Cain't you do nothing 'bout them weeds?" - and, boy, was she on the right track. What with all the burrs needing to be combed out of the donkeys' coats, and the likelihood that lack of visibility made it possible for some wild animal to take a bite at Molly, the tall weeds in our "middle forty" have got to go.
This afternoon, Keith and I grabbed our scythes and headed out back. It was our first outting with the scythes since the end of April, but it didn't take us long to get back into the swing of things.
Here's Keith, taking a whack at some poke weed and sumac. Not long into our cutting session, he uncovered a groundhog hole. Pernicious things - the groundhogs and their holes, both. Twenty minutes or so of continued swinging and hacking, and Keith found the "back door" groundhog hole. The hard way. He took a step, and the next thing he was knee deep in a hole. It scraped and bruised him up a bit, and served as a warning to us to be on the lookout for more surprises of this sort.
We still have a lot of clearing to do. Enough so that, destest them as I do, we may go rent a gas-powered rolling weed whacker. Or... we may just try to be content with tackling the weeds with a scythe for about an hour a week - just enough to keep them mostly under control.
Somehow the blade on Keith's scythe split, rather dramatically, too. He didn't even hit a rock, just some regular weedy stuff which his brush-cutting blade is designed to handle. I was using a blade meant for mowing grass, which means it's longer and potentially more fragile, and yet it held up really well. Heh, I'm not as strong as Keith.
I'll consider this as practice for some kayak paddling, which we hope to do in the next week or so.