The kind folks at the rental store let me have the walk-behind brush hog this weekend for free as I’d spent last weekend’s rental hours in the emergency room and then recovering with my leg bandaged.
I ran the machine for six hours each day, between morning and evening stints at barn chores, keeping my eyes peeled for deadly rocks — and, at my friend Bonnie’s suggestion, wearing shin guards borrowed from the school soccer team.
The work was uneventful. Just loud, dull, long, and tiring.
I have to return the brush hog this morning, and though I have only finished clearing about seven of the eight back acres, I’m not entirely sorry to see it go. The mental pressure of not wasting the rental has acted like a goad, whipping me through the hours. I barely let myself break for a drink of water, sitting on the tailgate of the truck.
The last acre, and various fencelines and un-mowable spots on the farm, I’ll clear in the coming weeks with a weedwhacker in short bursts between all the other pressing jobs that have to be completed before snow.
Fall is rushing down upon us. The temperature yesterday morning was 34° F.