Every year I look for new experiences, both in my personal life and at work. This year I got a chance to work on annual cuts for the first time. This involves line-trimming meadow like fields and buffer zones using heavy-duty line. It can take days, and it will not be done for another year. Large areas are covered by Deere ride-on mowers.
Sometimes it feels like harvest time and the view can be great depending on your exact location. If you are working close to people, stop and let them pass.
If time permits, harvest ripe blackberries (Rubus discolor) before pushing back the thorny invasive canes. There are other hazards! The tall growth can hide all sorts of objects and small animals. I recommend using a full face shield but they are awkward and expensive. Goggles, ear protection and pants are mandatory. Use a hat, sun screen and bring water.
Best Advice: if you are not using a full face shield, CLOSE YOUR MOUTH! Little voles usually run away from the noise but I did not expect to decapitate two garter snakes in the space of three minutes. And I hate snakes. Harsh previous experience has thought me to look out for improperly discarded doggy bags; the contents defy description after six months of sitting in a meadow. Then there is garbage and rocks which can become nasty projectiles.
It feels great once the work is safely completed.