Saturday, September 10, 2022

My Moral Delimna This Week


Ok so I am actually looking for opinions how other people would handle this situation. Especially before I end up in a shoot out on my county road that would probably include jail time before it is over.

See the ditch above? I been mowing that ditch off and on for probably 50 years or so now. The last 30 about every week. As a kid I did it a few times with a push mower, various riding mowers etc. At one time the ditch and banks were actually wider and the ditch deeper, much deeper but it has been filling in steadily over the years.

This ditch has caused me no end of aggravation too, as it has now filled in to where it is higher than my basement and has forced me to put caps inside my drains to keep the water from backing up and making the basement a lake. The drains were old clay and I could not find them to get rid of them but they were under that dirt somewhere and still seeping water from the ditch when it got high enough right into my basement.

And Kudos to the reader a few years back who told me how to fix that issue too!!!! You are a hero!!!

Anyway there is only one way left I can mow this ditch due to the steep sides next to the road, on coming traffic and the thickness of the grass. I can no longer use my tractor. My zero turn slides down the banks and into the (often) wet ditch and gets amazingly stuck with it's wide deck, which requires me to get one of my tractors and pull the mower out. Hard to do with my son gone. Now days I am physically not able to use a push mower on it and again the steep sides make it almost impossible as well. This leaves me with two options.

I can either use one of my old riding mowers where I lean as far off it as I can to keep it from rolling over and try and keep the oil from burning in a cylinder OR I could just let it go and not mow it.

Option one means I have to stop mowing about every 10 foot or so now and shut off the blades or blow grass clippings into incoming traffic. Option two means I just let the Johnson grass grow up and hide the very dangerous ditch and no shoulder, not to mention give the now constant passing traffic a few good close encounters with running wildlife.

Now a couple of other things to keep in mind.  I hate mowing this ditch and blowing grass clippings out because I almost always get covered in grass doing it. I would love to NOT have that fun pleasure believe me. If I had any other option I would take it, but I do not. Unless I want to not see on coming traffic on a road with no shoulder. In the old days I would ride the mower up and down the road a few times to clear the grass off but that is no longer possible with all the traffic.

To make matters worse one of the lots sold down the road a few miles had a pre-built rent to own building put on it with an out door camp fire ring and sign naming it "Fat old Bikers club"

No it doesn't really say Fat.

Now, if you hadn't already figured out where this is going I am sure you see the problem.

I am going to get into a shoot out with one of these bastards eventually I can see it coming.

It isn't like I care what someone wants to ride. Hell I even like old Bikes even though I am more of a truck and muscle car guy myself. Saw some old dude come by here the other night with a 70's era Yamaha modified into a cafe racer with stacks that was f-in hot. I live on an arrow straight stretch of road over 2 miles long and flat so I know these guys really want to get on em and get pissed when they have to slow down but ya know that is part of it. Deal With it.

BUT I am not clogging up my mowers and spending hours un-clogging them because these old guys want to speed on a bike. Especially when the grass will be gone in about 10 minutes anyway due to the half a million new plastic SUV's living out here now.

I am seriously considering just stopping mowing the dangerous, Wild life crossing, no shoulder ditch and putting a sign up saying "Thank the UNsafe Bikers and their vehicles for your up close Wildlife encounters"... You're Welcome.

I thought about a sickle bar mower but that means I will take up most of the lane and I still cannot get it completely down to that steep an angle. I can leave it for the county to mow, they get around to it maybe once every 3 or 4 months if we are lucky. They sure will hire someone and increase our taxes though.

These old bikers come by bitchin, rev-in there engines and screaming plus pointing and I just give em the bird and tell em to stop transporting their old cow on their bike. One of these days it is going to escalate I can see it coming but I am just going to stop mowing it before that.

I am too old for jail now.

Like I said believe me if I could figure out some other way I would take it. I don't mind blowing the grass in but it requires me to turn my back on traffic on a narrow road and is only possible at the very top anyway but last thing I want to do is cause anyone any trouble or put someone in danger they could easily avoid, it isn't worth it.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. That verge is county property. No use in you endangering yourself or your equipment in ANY fashion to maintain it. I know how it goes though. The county will get to it after it's been neglected for months. I have a similar situation, though mine overgrows with tumbleweeds that clog the drainage. If I wait for the county, we'll get rain, the drainage will clog, and water will start coming downhill through our properties. I clear the tumbleweeds off to the side of the ditch and rake the crap out of the drain openings for my own protection. That's as far as I go. And yes, people think our 2-lane is the Autobahn as well.

    ...If it isn't endangering your property, I'd leave it alone... Let the bikers learn field biology the hard way...

    1. Pete - Yep the county will mow it maybe once a year and they haven't even done that on either side of me this year yet. But they will hire another employee to not mow it too. The real reason I have always kept it mowed was for our drop off pets. The road has always been an issue for them and other wildlife but now it is a major issue and my chickens like to run into tall grass and not look. Mowed they won't go near the road at all. Drop offs are not as much of an issue these days with all the new traffic but the few pet type animals we have left also stay well away from the road. Still I am not going to risk getting into a fight over a few snowflake bikers who feel everyone should go out of their way to keep grass off the road simply so they can ride a motorcycle so I will probably abandon it to the county and place a sign telling the world why.

  2. caught between a rock and a hard place

    1. Deb - Ya. I mostly don't want to be forced to really get into it with someone at this point.

  3. I mow clippings into the road. Not my problem if they don't watch road conditions.

    1. Anon- I hear ya. I was surprised myself to be honest that someone would have the nerve to think that a home owner is needs to do extra work just so they can ride a motorcycle. Not to mention how someone can claim a motorcycle is safe to use on a public road if grass clippings are enough to make em not so safe. Seems contrary to their whole freedom biker image thing they like to claim.

    2. I must add though that the claims that I maybe legally responsible to worry me however.

  4. been thinking [a statement which always gave my husband concerned pause!] .
    is their a native plant or two which would colonize the ditch, low growing and aggressive ,which would squeeze out other plants, and remove the need for mowing?

    cattails would surely do it but way too tall
    how about crown vetch?
    creeping thyme?
    i do not know how aggressive they are but there must be a plant that would fill the need

  5. p.s.; glad you are thinking of animal safety, especially dumped pets who have no idea of how to live in the wild

    1. Deb - Very good questions. I don't think many would have immediately been able to pick out two common shoulder/ground covers like that. The state used to use both here. The Crown Fetch, which the bees love would usually dry out as the ditch sides were so steep they did not hold water well, the ditch itself was very poor draining and would flood it. The thyme I suspect was killed off by them salting and cindering the roads and they also used Large Blue stem a native prairie grass that could not survive that close to the road either for long. But it sure does survive away from the road. Makes fair hay but not very thick when cut and dried. Horses and Sheep like the hay but will not graze it before cut.

    2. Also every pet we have living with us, with the exception of, well the Goats and one lab/great dane mix my son brought home one day have been strays. Strays used to be a real problem but as the area fills up the strays are on the decline. I suspect it is due to the traffic on the road not giving the dumpers an opportunity to stop because I have not seen an increase in hit ex-pets either.


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