We didn’t recognize the signature but…

Oct 3, 2021 | 3 comments

Mr. Mower Man, October 2, 2012

Early morning October 2nd.  Something was going on out in the meadow!  Way out at the east side, near the bay.  Yay!  It’s the Mower Man, Mr. Kurtz here to do our annual mowing.  Or so I thought for about a minute.  But something was wrong.

Mr. Kurtz has mowed the meadows in front of Oysterville for a number of years now.  He usually starts at the south end of the village and works his way north, mowing in straight lines east to west, west to east, and back again.  Neat and Tidy.

Our wintertime view is back again!

The Mower Man I was watching was working in concentric rectangles — south to north along the east side, east to west along the north side, north to south along the west side, etc.  It looked like he’d started at the north end of the village.  Neat and Tidy as always but an entirely different pattern.  Not the signature of Mr, Kurtz.

I stood by our east fence for a while and, as he drew near, he waved and I gave him a thumbs up.  We exchanged smiles and, had it not been for the noise of the mower, I’d have introduced myself and asked after Mr. Kurtz.  Mr. K is “of an age” and I hope he’s doing well.  Maybe this year’s Mower Man is his son.  Or grandson.  Or an employee.  Or maybe Mr. K. has retired.

Meadow, Bay, and Sky — as far as the eye can see.

Whatever the story and no matter the signature, our meadow looks great.  It’s definitely ready for the high tides and heavy rains of winter.  Then Lake Little will form once again and provide recreational and nutritional habitat for the dabbling ducks and the geese and the occasional heron.  And so the seasons revolve — no matter who signs the work orders!  Thanks. Mr. Mower Man!


  1. Cyndy Hayward

    I saw Mr. Mower Man Kurtz directing the unloading of the the mower from the trailer yesterday morning. He looked fine.

  2. Cate Gable

    Sydney: why not let the grass just have its own life cycle? (I’m afraid for all the tiny moles and voles getting caught in mower-guys snicker-snack. Also it’s the gorse at the far end of Merchant St that needs to be taken out before it gets totally out of control.

    • sydney

      Good Question.
      Answer: The gorse, scotch broom, alders etc. all get a toe hold over the summer along with the grass. It wouldn’t take very long before our “meadows” were completely gone. Also, the sooner the grass is mowed, the sooner the puddling rain grows to ponds and “lakes” and the dabbling ducks arrive to forage etc. And then there’s the cultural history, too… The oystermen wanted a clear view out to their beds; now it’s mostly those of us who have homes on the east side of Territory Road who want our view protected — but, in truth, it wouldn’t take many years (maybe six or seven) before the whole bayside ambiance of Oysterville would change completely. Until the 1920s, when my grandfather’s cattle ranch ran almost as far as Joe John’s Road, my mother said you could see the bay all along most of Sand Ridge… The cows kept the grass grazed down and Papa and his ranch hands kept the intrusions to a minimum…


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