The von Ditfurth Fusiliers, a later iteration of the von Hessenstein Regiment on which half of my current grenadier battalion is based.
It's 10:15am, and I decided to shake things up this morning and came to a locally owned cafe/bookshop we are fond of for coffee and a cinnamon roll today before returning home to tackle the lawn, have a second shower, and hop back into the painting chair to finish these Minden Prussian grenadiers, painted as Wurttemburgers and Hessen-Kasselers respectively.
If you'll excuse the groundskeeper digression for just a moment, I have learned a great deal about lawn care in the last year. One of the easy ways to improve the look of the whole thing is through frequent mowing at a fairly high setting for cool season grasses like we have in the Northern U.S.
In May and early June, when the grass seemed to shoot up several inches virtually overnight, I cut it every two or three days. Since summer arrived in late June, the weather warmed, and our rains became less frequent, growth has slowed somewhat, mercifully. I cut now about every five days on the second highest setting of the Toro Timemaster, which gives everything a nicely manicured, carpet-like appearance. About 3.75 inches in height.
Cutting grass to a taller height, rather than as short as possible, promotes deeper root growth, which gives you stronger plants more likely to survive hotter, drier spells in the weather. If you have the right variety of grass and train it with frequent clipping using a reel mower, it is possible to trim it to very short heights reminiscent of what you might find on golf courses. However, scalping your grass once a week will cause your lawn to turn brown and look pretty cruddy in short order.
Slow release organic fertilizer (Milorganite for those who are interested) a few times a season helps too. The grass has both greened and thickened up in thinner areas pretty quickly in the last couple of months thanks to the added nitrogen, iron, and natural waste products among other fertilizer ingredients. Since it is organic and slow release, an added benefit is that you don't burn your lawn if you miscalculate slightly in the application.
Today, we have temperatures in the 70s (Fahrenheit) with partly sunny skies, so I am looking forward to some time alone outside to putter around and mow some nice, straight diagonal stripes in the front and back yards. Southwest to northeast today.
Another important point I have learned -- There are scads of videos on Youtube about lawn care. -- is to vary your direction each time you cut the grass, to avoid compacting the soil and keep the millions of tiny plants from developing a lean in one particular direction. I know, I know. Easily entertained. Suburban Dad syndrome my sister calls it.
You meet someone, marry, have a child, get a mortgage, hold down a steady job, and suddenly you wake up one morning nowhere near as cool and a lot less interesting than you once might have imagined. Class? Class? Wake up!
But back to the toy soldiers. I managed a couple of hours yesterday evening, working on the scabbards, hilts, and started on the sword knots, which is where I'll pick up after mowing later today. Then it's on to the wigs/hair and queues with, hopefully, not too many touch-ups required. I'll provide a Kodak moment photographic update with some final observations this evening once things have been finished. I might actually squeak in a few hours ahead of the self-imposed midnight deadline.