Thoughts on grass, night crawlers and technology

Open Forum

A rather interesting article in one of the recent past Tribune pages about the grass can not be over six inches high in yards of Spring Valley.  I really don’t see why the city should get all bent out shape if people let the grass in their yard get over six inches high.  Did the Spring Valley czar of yard maintenance spend a lot of money on a grass measuring gadget that will measure to the closest 0.0001-inch and now they have to justify its purchase?

Back in the “good ol’ days”, the mower was the measuring tool.  Nobody wanted to push the reel mower into grass that was over 1” in height.  Mowing that long grass took a lot of work and perspiration especially when you’re a kid getting paid 50 cents an hour.  If you were mowing for some sweet lady, she would inundate you with milk or Kool Aid and homemade cookies about halfway through the task.   That was an unexpected benefit of the job.  With today’s power mower you can mow an acre of alfalfa in a half hour.  

I sure hope my nice friendly Spring Valley town isn’t becoming a small town with big city ideas.  The big cities follow the revised Golden Rule: “Do it unto others before they do it unto you.” 

If someone’s grass is becoming unsightly, neighbors should go check up on the occupant(s).  If it should be that resident just doesn’t care, then I think a few goats and sheep could be brought in to do the mowing.   The goats and sheep can fertilize the lawn as they are mowing.  If it is a case of poor health and no money to hire someone, then a couple of young, able bodied men should volunteer take care of the lawn.

I think another lost art, due to technology, is the art of making night crawlers come to the surface whenever you want them to go fishing.  The night before going to the river and drowning my worms, I’d go out into our yard and fill a tin can with dirt and night crawlers.  It was an easy task.  

The only equipment required was two metal rods about two feet long, two three-foot lengths of wire and a wall telephone generator.  The two rods would be stuck into the ground about three feet from the ends of the generator or six feet from each other.  One end of the wire would be wrapped around the rod and the other end connected to the generator terminal.  When you were ready to harvest your night crawlers, all you had to do was turn the crank.  In no time those nice fat juicy (a fish’s description) night crawlers would be wriggling their way out of the soil.  All that was required after that was to pick them up and put them in your tin can of soil.  It did require a bit of speed and stealth.  The night crawler didn’t come completely out of its hole.  It left about a half-inch of its tail in the hole.  If you touched it but did not grab it, it would go back into the hole.  If you ruffled the grass around it too much, it would go back into its hole.  And, they were fast.

The reason I say drowning my worms is because the fish knew my hook and would swim around it.  They wouldn’t even look at that nice fat night crawler and smack their lips, they would just swim around it.  Consequentially, the same worm was in the water all day long.


Dale Schunke

Tucson, Arizona