No Mow May: Less Is More

Almost cut my hair
Happened just the other day…

But I didn’t and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly – “Almost Cut My Hair,” Crosby, Stills, and Nash

 The No Mow May movement arrived with little fanfare.  A few people quietly began to let their freak flags fly – that is, stopped cutting their grass – and vowed not to mow in May.  The trend caught on:  there are now hundreds of shaggy lawns of the kind complained about by neighbors and cited by the city. But the non-mowers are confident that the tall grass will attract bees and pollinators for wildflowers and other plants.

The No Mow May movement began in the UK a few years ago, and has crossed the oceans, mountains, wildfires, and prairies of the U.S.  The mayor has endorsed it. And residents will not be fined for unruly lawns till June 1.

On a walk today, I saw many No Mow May signs. They seem to have popped up overnight. and share space with Democratic political signs , Black Lives Matter, Pro Choice, and We Are Invested in Our City.  Finally, we have a movement that requires no action.

I am impressed by the “grassroots” commitment of the No Mow May supporters. Yet they seem naive about the consequences.  At the end of the month, their mowers – push mowers, gas mowers, electric mowers – will not be able to cut a 12-inch-high lawn. They will need a scythe,  or perhaps alawn service. .Some experts advise cutting the grass a few inches at a time so as not to stress the grass in June and dislodge the pollinators. 

Indeed, we should all progress to a grass curation program.  Deciding when to mow by observing the growth of grass during rainfall or the stress of dry weather, is practical.. This system has brought bees, pollinators, and butterflies to our yard, though not without mosquitoes, ticks, and flies.

What this country needs is a charismatic environmental leader.g Perhaps Paul Atreides in Frank Herbert’s Dune or Austin Train in John Brunner’s The Sheep Looked Up would be up to the task.

I’m turning to fictional characters. Any real-life candidates?

(And I wrote about The Sheep Looked Up here. )

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