Always mow with care
While listening to Penelope Lively’s audiobook “Life in the garden“, I came across a fantastic poem by Philip Larkin (1922-1985) called “The mower”. It’s well worth reading because it contains several lessons.
The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.
The beautiful new machines you purchase from Foreshore Equipment and Supply must be used properly and always with caution. While I still feel bad for the hedgehog, I have heard of worse accidents. So talk to the sales people and the mechanics about your new machines and get to know them.
It’s also critical to know your mow areas well and identify any potential hazards before you start to mow. If you’re mowing a lawn for the first time ask your crew foreman about it and walk it. It’s not time wasting; it makes a lot of sense.
Once I observed a practical test station at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University. One Landscape Industry Certified candidate was getting tested on a ride-on mower and when he looked away, the examiner threw a pair of plastic safety goggles onto the lawn.
Now, would the candidate walk his lawn to check for hazards or would he just start mowing? Failing to check your lawn for hazards is a points deduction. And now you know why: you could kill a hedgehog.
Killed mower shaft
It doesn’t take much to destroy a mower shaft. I was on site a few years back when a worker- new to the site, not to the company- was shown to his area and let go. Then, as he ran his mower over a metal cover his front right wheel dropped off into a depression he didn’t know existed. You can imagine what happened next. As the mower deck dropped down in front, the blade came to a complete stop, stuck in the metal cover.
Since this was a new mower purchased in spring, the choice words my boss directed at the worker afterwards will never be fit for print. But I also think that the foreman could have walked the dude around the area before he started mowing.
Final poem words
Finally, be kind to each other and help people while you can. Always mow with care and don’t run over hedgehogs.