Tall Grass

For the record, this post is NOT about the hu-dad’s lack of mowing our field.  That grass was recently cut.

However, any of you who have frequented U.S. National Parks in the last couple of weeks have probably noticed that the grass is uncut.  That is because a park service worker mowing grass on the Blue Ridge Parkway got too close to the edge with his tractor and plummeted 140 feet (43 meters) to his death.  The park service suspended mowing at ALL national parks until safety procedures could be reviewed and new policies implemented.  We understand that some parks have resumed some mowing, but many parks still have a moratorium.

Our hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway this weekend demonstrate the current conditions:

Tall grass

Kiska is thinking this is just like when hu-dad forgets to mow our field.

Tall grass

Don't get lost up there, Rusty.

P.S. – This was not a back country trail that would not normally be mowed. We are still sticking to easier trails while Rusty rebounds from his back pains. He is, however, doing well and loved today’s hikes.



  1. siku marie on June 4, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Glad Rusty is feeling better. YoYoMa has at least stopped crying after he gulps down his slightly reduced dinner portion on HIS diet!

    The mowing tragedy seems like a horrible way to remind Park Service workers about safety precautions. Hope the grasses get cut soon.

  2. Huffle Mawson on June 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Oh please, before the deck was built my yard looked like that all the time! Sometimes the grass was so tall I would disappear!

  3. Elmo & Mouse on June 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Wow, thank you for letting us know about the incident. never thought much about the forest service people who take care of the parks. Very sad to hear about his death and the way it happened. Hopefully they’ll come up with some safer policies. I wouldn’t want to fall 140ft to my death.

    Good to hear about Rusty’s feeling better. Has he started his diet yet? Elmo has.

  4. Piappies World on June 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    We could not focus much on the tall grass as we were so amused looking at your fluffy tails!

    Hope it would be ok to ask what food The Herd eat? Piappies Mom has a friend who got a husky and she is a first time dog owner. We’d be grateful if you can help us out.

    Enjoy the trails!

    Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai, Wai-Max & Forgie

    • D.K. Wall on June 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Chuckling – well, now that is a very long story. We believe in variety of flavor, so we buy 3-4 flavors at a time. Until the recent recall, we were feeding Taste of the Wild, but have dropped that. Today, we are feeding the seafood versions of Acana, Orijen and Fromm. The dogs like the variety and all are high quality, grain-free foods. We also are big believers in Eagle Pack, but the dogs became a little bored with it exclusively (though we would still incorporate it). Clear, huh?

  5. Sam on June 4, 2012 at 10:26 am

    LOL – as a NPS employee, I’m well familiar with this current moratorium. We tend to be rather reactive instead of proactive! Eventually we will lose a hiker in the grass and need to start mowing again.


  6. jane on June 4, 2012 at 10:23 am

    that is great to hear that rusty is doing well. keep it up rusty. hugs and kisses to all the herd.

  7. houndstooth on June 4, 2012 at 7:13 am

    We were at a state park this weekend and they weren’t mowing there, either, but that’s because the state is too cheap to take care of our parks. I’m glad you guys got out, even if you do need a bushwhacker to get through! Did the Hu-Dad carry a machete?

    • D.K. Wall on June 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Unfortunately, the parks budgets tend to be run very thinly. We know the Blue Ridge Parkway is always so underfunded that they search for funds to provide the basics like law enforcement.

  8. Ice 'n Ayla on June 4, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Almost sounds like something the Canadian Government would come up with as a reason for not mowing ANY NATIONAL PARKS. As in, if an employee drowned in a lake in a Rocky Mountain National Park, suspend working in ANY park, even in the Mojave Desert, because someone might drown.

    • D.K. Wall on June 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      We tend to agree. We get that they may need to review mowing practices on the edge of cliffs (I can only imagine the horror of falling 140 feet), but we did think it was a little strange to read that the Washington Mall also ceased mowing. What are you going to do, fall off the curb?

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