There are certainly times when you have to switch directions because there are things around you that have changed. For the past several years we have been “preaching” the need for water conservation around the City and thus many of our residents have limited their landscape watering and tolerated the dry and somewhat lifeless grass and yards of this drought. Then in the past few months we have been blessed by occasional and very pleasant soaking rains and suddenly it seems that the world is green again and our little corner of paradise is growing and blooming. The many little rains are very appreciated and the water usage for the City has held steady at a reasonable and sustainable level, but soon we will have fall and the leaves will start dropping and the grass and weeds will start to dry out and cause their own problems. We will be starting our annual fall leaf pickup in about six weeks, and will let you know about it in this paper, but before then there is still some landscape work to be done.
One surprising switch is that we are having some complaints coming into the City office about grass and weeds that are overgrown and need to be mowed. For many months there was not enough moisture to provide for the grass to grow without a good deal of watering, but now the grass and all the brush and weeds are green and growing, and I think some people might have forgotten that you have to mow it when it gets too high. The City does have an Ordinance limiting the height of tall weeds and grass, and we occasionally have to ask residents to mow which they often do with only a bit of grumbling, but recently there are more than just a “few” locations that need mowing rather desperately. The City crews are out mowing and cleaning some of the street right of ways, but I would encourage all of our residents to help clean up and keep the grasses and weeds from becoming a significant problem. I will ask the City Commission at our next regular meeting to approve a free dump time in early November so that everyone can help to clean up our neighborhoods and prepare our town to be neat and presentable for the holidays and the many visitors to Mason. However, you need to do your part and begin the mowing and trimming now so that you will be prepared to take advantage of that time.
Another very serious consideration is that the growing weeds and brush around town will be a serious fire hazard in just a couple of months after the first hard freeze. Although we have had some good rains, they have not been nearly enough to truly “break” this drought. If you dig down just a few inches, the ground is still just as dry as ever and the climate watchers are still talking about this continuing dry spell being the worst drought on record. We have avoided much wildfire concerns for the past year, but with the recent growth and the coming winter it is very probable that soon we will be in a worse shape as regards burning hazard and the fire index. This is just another very practical reason that with the pleasant weather outside now might be a very good time to mow, clean up the yard and prepare for the coming changes of the seasons. With a little work we will all enjoy a more pleasant surroundings and in the future we will be safer and avoid additional concerns. Together we can keep Mason a beautiful and wonderful place to live and work, and place we can proudly brag is the best hometown in Texas.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley