I know this guy who loves to mow all summer. He’ll whip around the yard, then head down the driveway to mow the ditches of his property and anything within half a mile that he can get to without being arrested or tipping over.

He gets so excited for Mowing Season Opener, he starts sharpening blades and lubing up in February. By March, he’s picking out just the right outfit for the Big Day.

The preferred attire is usually a t-shirt with a stretched out neck with “Don’t wear this to the office!” printed in permanent marker on the front, along with denim jeans that are best described as “sheer.”

He “loves him” a good gasoline powered piece of equipment.

In the winter it’s his snowblower tractor as well as the walk behind. Spring brings a pressure washer and really, is there anything a leaf blower can’t do? It’ll blow a light snowfall and leaves off the driveway, dirt out of the garage and have you ever tried it on dog hair in the car? I just hope you weren’t saving those receipts for tax purposes.

Of course, there’s the chain saw. Anything that produces carbon emissions will work.

Oh, now I’m being snotty.

He does have some of that Ego brand that runs on batteries powered by solar panels.

Plus, it would be unrealistic to think he could trim all that lawn with a old manual mower, no matter how much he loves that whirring noise. The driveway is 200 feet long, for cripe’s sake. A guy can’t shovel all that and this is Scandia. We’re neat.

Yep. He’s right, I tell him. But there are others who lived here before we moved in and they sort of liked their homes before we turned it into a golf course. If you want to live in Woodbury, I say because who doesn’t like that discount shoe store, maybe that’s where you’d be happiest.

I blame my friend Chip who has studied the decline of monarch butterflies for decades as an entomologist at the University of Kansas. Every time he comes back to Minnesota, he remarks on the environmental desert our roadsides have become because of mowing and chemicals, and now all I see is Edina creeping up Highway 95 as I search for native plants like milkweed, without which our monarchs will not survive.

But don’t panic! My walks this summer so far have shown more and more enlightened Scandians who are letting milkweed grow and plants that are covered in the monarch’s bright green and black striped caterpillars. These will turn to a gem-like chrysalis and finally a monarch that flies a bit further north looking for more milkweed to produce more babies until the final generation flies all the way to Mexico for the winter. Wow. What’s not to love about that?

So, you Husqvarna Heroes, please mow around the milkweed until July 4th, when it’s Halftime. Then, put on your Halftime Outfits (which are probably the same clothes, but perhaps washed) and don’t mow it at all. For the sake of the monarchs, and all the other critters that are part of the same web as you, let the habitat be until fall when the monarchs have flown south again.

Test out that deck chair of yours. Have a beer. Read your Northern Tool flyers.

You can do this.

Lori Powell Gordon



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