I had a funny thought as I sat in my air-conditioned house looking out and seeing my lawn die because of all of the heat we have been suffering through lately.

Mind you, I am embarrassed that the grass in my lawn is over a foot tall in most places and yet brown and dead in other areas. At least it’s gone to seed so hopefully we will receive some beneficial rain in the future to help it replace itself. Either that or the mice and birds will have a feast at the expense of me having a green lawn.

Since my water is supplied by the Portland Water District and I have to pay for what I use, I am not going to water my lawn as I once did in Ozark, Ala., which was suffering from an extended drought. My wife and I watered that dead lawn back to the deep green that it deserved and we deserved what we received. Oh yes, that $228 water bill is still remembered today. That bill was for one month of water to turn brown grass green. Of course most of the bill was for the cost of sewage that we never created because the sewage bill was twice the amount of water used.

Eventually we purchased a house in Windham and once again suffered through a drought. Unfortunately for us, we had planted a brand new lawn that did not have one blade of green grass and didn’t receive a drop of rain in order for the seeds to grow. Of course the old stupidity of having the greenest lawn in town planted the seed in my mind to water, water, water. And then the good old water bill came and once again my wallet lost the green that it once contained. But the consequences of watering went far beyond getting the grass to grow as I was soon to find out.

As that nice green grass grew I finally realized I had another problem to contend with. Mowing! I didn’t even have a lawnmower so maybe I would have been better off to let whatever wanted to grow and forget about the green grass that I so desperately wanted. So I purchased a riding lawnmower only to once again realize I created a couple of new problems to solve. How do I remove all of the lawn waste, which I solved by purchasing a lawn sweeper. It just seems that the more I have done the more I have do. Then came the insects and the weeds, which led me to more spending for the products that would remove them and much more besides.

Fortunately and unfortunately as well, there is a large patch of the good old Japanese bamboo that borders and attacks my property. It is a natural block (well, if you consider an invasive plant natural) that gives us a great deal of privacy except in the fall when it dies and becomes the greatest nuisance known to man, and woman (that is, my wife) as well. If I had anything to say about it being beneficial is that the honeybees love it and in some years we have had lots of bees and other years hardly any. It just happens I have a good friend who has a nephew with hundreds of bee hives so I decided to end the use of pesticides and herbicides as I believe his bees visit my property.

So I hope that we receive some rain soon so that my lawn will once again turn green and look presentable. But that might just be the smallest problem I face as the Windham Town Council more than likely will approve putting a bond issue to build a new Windham Public Works garage in the very same area that does have problems. But wait, that makes sense to bury the problems that exist there instead of removing it from an environmentally sensitive area.

Lane Hiltunen of Windham wants government to stop being like Japanese bamboo.


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