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I’m gonna need a new lawnmower

By Staff | Oct 2, 2016

I had to go home after work one day last week and mow my lawn. Again.

It really needed mowing; I had not been able to do it for a few days and the grass was tall, lush and green.

I may be wrong, but I think this is the first summer I can recall where I had to mow the lawn every week. Sometimes I couldn’t even wait a full week. For a while it was every few days, or it would get away from me and I couldn’t get through it with my little push mower. If I waited a full week, I might have needed to bale it. I saw some neighbors out raking after mowing, making huge hay piles of grass clippings.

Whatever happened to the dry weeks of August when the lawn goes brown and dormant and you don’t have to mow for a while? That didn’t happen this year.

Of course, I realize the answer is the rain. We had a lot of timely rains all summer long, so the grass never went brown and dormant.

And now in September we received a lot of rain, causing some headaches, and I don’t mean just my minor inconvenience of having to mow a lot more than usual.

Streets and basements were flooded. Farmers were itching to get out into the fields and couldn’t, due to wet and muddy conditions. Construction people were itching to get their summer projects wrapped up by their fall deadline, but were delayed by the wet weather.

That is sure true in Blue Earth with the downtown Main Street project.

While they were once two to three weeks ahead of schedule, they are now scrambling to get it all done by their Oct. 15 deadline. That is only two weeks away.

Fortunately, with the rain finally taking a break, concrete laying crews were here last week, finishing up the sidewalks and starting in on the concrete street surfaces. There is hope it can all be done soon if the rain will just stay away for a bit.

The new Main Street bridge over the Blue Earth River is another story. As the photo on the front page of this week’s Faribault County Register shows, the river is so high it is almost going over the newly constructed substructure of the new bridge.

I have a bad feeling that this project is not going to get done anytime soon. While the official word is that it will be done this year, that might mean by the end of December. I personally think next spring is when it will open depending on how much snow melt and rain the river gets filled with next April.

But, as bad as we have had it here, it is nothing compared to just north of here, in the Mankato, Waseca, Waterville area. It seemed as though every time we got a few tenths of an inch of rain, they had several inches.

And, of course, recently the Waseca area was hit with 14 inches of rain in a 48-hour period. That caused some serious issues in those areas.

I think this has been a pretty wet summer. And, it turns out, the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center, located near Waseca, by the way, agrees with me.

They reported last week that this growing season will be remembered for a long time for the excessive rain we have received. The previous wettest growing season was 1991 with 34.61 inches of rain. This year they have recorded 43.89 inches. That is more than double the normal for a spring and summer growing period in this area.

It has been excessively rainy in other parts of the U.S., as well. Southern and Eastern states especially.

Meanwhile, my son (and Seneca Foods employee) Nate, out at Seneca’s plant in Modesto, California, says he has forgotten what rain looks like. It has been a long time since he has seen any. And his lawnmower is sitting in the garage covered in dust and cobwebs, from non-use.

It is too bad we can’t share some of this overabundance of water with the folks who need it. And they could share some of their dry weather with us for the rest of the fall.

But, it just doesn’t work that way.

My neighbor says not to worry. This is Minnesota. Pretty soon all that rain will turn into white snowflakes. And there are supposed to be a lot of those snowflakes this winter.

Oh boy. Guess I can put the lawnmower away and get ready to fire up the snow blower.

And then whine next spring about all the times I?had to blow snow over the winter months.