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Mowing the Lawn

Plants here in Hawaii tend to grow fast, especially the weeds.  Look away for a second and the weeds will soon be taller that the coffee trees.  To help with weed control, the ground between the rows of trees is planted with grass.  That's a lot of grass.  Mowing the entire farm is a two day job.  Even just the lawn around the house can take a couple hours to mow.

For those of you that might be interested, the mower is a 22 horsepower, diesel John Deer 455 with a shaft-drive 54" three blade mower deck attached.  It has a PTO but I don't currently have any PTO accessories for it.  I'll probably use my larger tractor for any PTO equipment I may need in the future, such as a flail mower for mulching the tree prunings.  It's nice that both the tractor and mower are diesel.  I can mow the entire property for about $15 in diesel fuel.  Of course I'll have to also figure in the cost of maintenance and replacement mower blades.  I drive around the larger rocks and the smaller rocks don't do any major damage, it's the medium sized rocks, anywhere from the size of a fist to the size of a coconut, that cause the real damage.  Volcanos make lots of rocks.  I better get used to sharpening and replacing the mower blades.

Turkey Lurkey As soon as I started mowing, dozens of birds appeared and started following me around.  They were after all the crickets and other bugs the mower would stir up.  Even Turkey Lurkey joined in the feast.  After filling up on bugs, I guess it was a time for a nap on the porch railing.  I'm wondering what the turkey will think of the cats and dog when they finally get here next month.  Maybe the dog will keep the turkey off the porch so we don't have to keep cleaning up turkey poop.

We heard another strange bird the other day.  It made a strange "Uh Oh" sound (the sound of water is because it was raining when I made this recording).  This bird certainly doesn't sound like a turkey.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't one of the neighbor's peacocks either.  We thought it might be a Nene, the native Hawaiian goose, but we looked up Nenes on the internet and they make a regular old goose honking noise.  Whatever it was, it flew around the farm to several different locations.  We first heard it in the morning as it seemed to be working its way south.  Later that evening we heard it again heading back north.  We never could manage to catch a glimpse of it.  My current theory is that it was some kind of parrot that belongs to the neighbor's and got loose.  It probably spent the day flying around then came back home when it got hungry.  If you recognize the sound of the "Uh Oh" bird, let us know what it is.

[UPDATE:  It was indeed a peacock.  It's amazing the variety of sounds those birds can make.  They're very vocal.  Especially after the dog chases them up a tree.]

Eli In addition to our new bird friends, we also met another one of our neighbors.  Eli and his wife Chris live on the property below us.  We haven't met Chris yet but Eli is friendly.  He works part-time at the local lumber company and said he'd see if he could find a scrap sheet of plywood for Emily's bunny hutch.  That's good because Emily is getting quite anxious to finally get a pet bunny.

I first met Eli when he dropped by to inspect his water tank (behind him in the picture) which is at the top of his property and most easily accessed from our driveway.  There is also a bunch of white pineapple bushes along the property line.  Eli had a worker, Mateo, spend a day removing all the weeds from around several of the pineapple bushes.  If you've never tasted a white pineapple before, you're missing out.  They're smaller than regular pineapples, less acidic, and absolutely delicious.  I can't wait until they ripen.  I'll have to find some time to weed around all the other pineapple bushes to make sure we have a healthy crop of pineapples this year.

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