Wednesday

Water Sense, Fire and Lawns

With the drought we're having here along with a wild fire not all that far away, water has become more precious than ever. We haven't had any more restrictions on watering lawns or anything like that, but I notice that more homes have quit watering. Maybe they're making a personal statement about the situation or they're just tired of the high water bills, but dry grass is apparent here and there all over town.

I have never been enthralled by an expanse of blank, green lawn that suits no purpose other than just being there. I'm not dull; I can see the beauty in rolling hills covered with green grass, but I just can't see it in the blank rectangles that surround houses. Water it, fertilize it, cut it... water it, cut it... water it, cut it.

I prefer to spend my water money on something more important, like food. If it comes to a choice between having a garden and having a nice looking lawn, the garden wins.

Just like having water for farmers should win over having water for town lawns. Should, I said. Water rights being what they are, it's hard to sort them out and still harder to make changes because the government has set hard and fast rules that take forever to change. Meanwhile, the land dries up, farmers lose crops. The threat of wild fire is real, here on the plains.

In the mountains, the fire is raging due to plenty of fuel and a wind that keeps it going. On the plains, it would be the same thing. Dry grass, dry crops and dry air combined with wind would allow a fire to sweep over miles of prairie in one day.

And my neighbors complain because not every lawn in the neighborhood is green. The city fines people whose lawns have obvious bare spots. Sometimes I think the lack of common sense will be our ultimate downfall.

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