Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why I Don't Mow

I let my hair and my lawn grow for longer periods between mowings than suit most people. But, in neither case is it a matter of neglect. And, in neither case am I influenced by appearances. In the case of hair, it saves money. I let it grow until it feels uncomfortable. That's usually 5 to 7 weeks between haircuts, about twice or three times the permissible time if I had a job requiring a suit and tie. In the case of the lawn, it's more complicated. First of all, I'm acutely aware that lawns in general are an ecological disaster. They often require water and fertilizer above and beyond what the local environment can provide. Then there's the wanton use of pesticides and herbicides people use in order to acquire the Astroturf look. This plays havoc with the local ecosystems in many ways. Practically every place I've lived came with a lawn. I've never been bold enough to eliminate the lawn in favor of some other form of landscaping, and, in the suburbs, I've never been brazen enough to just let nature take its course. Where I live now, I strike a balance between appearances and enjoying the wild plants and animals that visit. Over the past two years, I've featured in this blog the following visitors to my lawn: Pacific Coast Chorus Frogs, Daisies, Dandelions, Thistles, Ladybugs, Slugs, Sorrel, Orchard Morning Glory, Pill Bugs, Bears (at least evidence of their visits), Field Clover, Spanish Clover, many kinds of insects visiting the "invasive" flowers, and now this - a wonderful, large fungus. Those who mow often are missing out on some wonderful entertainment and understandings of how nature works.

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