Posts Tagged With: lizards and toads.


The County Fair is symbolic as a place to have fun. My youngest daughter had a horse, a couple of hogs, and multiple dairy goats at this fair. She worked the fair in high school cleaning horribly gross restrooms for FFA and decided she’d never come back after graduating high school.

But she did. Her two boys loved the unique experience of jumping a frog. The frog is placed on the lily pad. You can slap your hands, scratch the mat behind it or holler at it but you can’t touch it.

The monitors measure the distance of the three jumps and a collector (probably a kid from FFA) gathers up the frog and sends it back to the frog hotel. Ahhh! So it goes, for 4 days until the finals on Sunday. A $1,000 prize is offered for the longest jump.

I went with a friend who has bad asthma and can’t walk very much in the spring. We stayed atop the hillside and sat on the grass and listened to music and peeked into the buildings that had booths for aroma therapy, jewelry made from bullets, leather shoes and buckles.  We didn’t see anything we couldn’t live without.

My goal was to find some purple earrings and eat junk food. The garlic fries with Parmesan cheese and parsley were excellent. I tasted Karen’s and  ate a huge polish sausage with lots of onions and bell pepper, mustard and ketchup. Yum!

The carnival looked like fun, but you have to walk back up that hill and it wouldn’t due for Karen. The hay filled barns and rodeo dust were off-limits, too.  I didn’t mind. There will be another fair next year. I was glad to get away and spend the day in the sunshine and wear my trashy biker clothes and earrings. I looked for a one-day-only tattoo and couldn’t find where I hid them. And, I actually didn’t have any leathers, but I pretended.  I didn’t find any purple earrings to buy. I’ve got my eye on a funnel cake for next year. It takes two to eat one, but we watched a young girl polish one off. (Shouda took a pic.)

I came home to “grass power.”  These beautiful grasses are California native bunch grasses. They don’t need water summer or winter, but this winter they got plenty of water and showed how powerful they can be.

You can barely see my chicken coop. They have overpowered my yard and have managed to spread everywhere on my three acres. I absolutely love them. I bought 5 different bunch grasses for their special attributes but only two actually liked my property. Normally, I wait until they dry and go to seed, then have them mowed or use the weed eater. But not this year.

My lower gate is blocked and I can’t open but about 8 inches,  just to squeeze through. This is a driveway. So, today, the mulching machine is coming to chew them up. Even when they are young plants, the roots are so strong you can’t pull them up. And that is what I wanted. I’m Certified Wildlife Habitat and I don’t ever spray or poison things. And when I walk my property, I feel the loamy, soft, rich soil. I walk through a wonderland of lady bugs and ear wigs and other beneficial insects.  I have bees buzzing about, huge lizards, a couple of toads and birds nesting. All is good and healthy and it makes me feel wonderful to have saved a patch of native grasses that once kept California a green state. The native grasses were long ago overcome by Spanish grasses that migrated with cattle coming from Mexico.  A few patches were rescued from cemeteries and other hilly areas where cattle didn’t graze.

The grasses have strong roots; they hold the soil; they are fire resistant. They make good forage for grass-eating animals. What’s not to like?

The mulcher will do in two days what would take me a month with a machete to do. The birds and the bees and the bats are making babies and feel welcome and safe here. I love it.

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