Cutting Grass

You may think swinging a scythe is the last thing you might consider when the grass needs mowing. But that would be because (1) you have never tried it, or (2) you tried it, but you did not have a fine instrument of cutting in your hands. It turns out those old iron scythes resting in barns across the country are not Samurai blades of mowing. They are as heavy and tiresome as they seem.

But a scythe, beautifully made, can be beautiful to use. Sharp and ringing through the grass, it is balanced, economical, fumeless, and healthy for you. It does not require fueling (other than the obvious tea and cookies you will require after scything). It swings like a long arm of your own, leaving stems in a neat windrow at your side.

Richard cutting grass by the road.

Here is Richard running his Austrian bladed scythe mounted on a custom measured snath. I have one, too, that fits me, but I am the photographer. Using the scythe, I feel pleasingly odd, nicely oxygenated, and as Green as can be imagined. I have learned to care for my blade, learned to hone well, learned to swing and move with confidence. This is a wonderful tool that has nearly disappeared from the American countryside. Compare its gentle voice as it cuts to the obnoxious growl of an edger, or the roar of a lawnmower. The scythe wins, blades down.

If you are at all interested in learning about scythes (even if it’s only because it seems so odd), try this site:

By the way, the photo above won a free (his second) work kilt for Richard from Utilikilts in Seattle. I took the shot, so I guess I was the winner, but a kilt is primarily a guy garment, and I passed it on. You have to watch out if you are a woman and your man goes about in a kilt. Other women will be following him for blocks and all through the Costco aisles. They will stop him on street corners. They will behave as if you are not standing next to him, clearly with him. If you are nevertheless interested in them, try this site:

Published in: Uncategorized on May 23, 2007 at 4:26 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Hi, Susan,

    What I find most interesting is that I’ve just been at the Massachusetts Sheep Festival, and spoken to many women, all wondering why I’m wearing a dress/skirt and not pants: aren’t I uncomfortable, etc…I think skirts are more comfortable, particularly in hot weather, since while riding in the car, you can pull them up like shorts, or if you have the a/c on, pull them down around your ankles if your legs are cold. I also love the freedom of movement and the air on my legs…It’s nice to see at least one man seems to think skirts/kilts are neat and practical to wear, even for chores. Of course, in winter, while doing barn chores at -10, I prefer sweats. What I don’t understand is the fascination with jeans: in winter they aren’t warm enough, in summer, they’re too hot. They may feel good on, and on some, even be flattering, and I suppose they wear well, but as practical garments, to me, the only thing they have going for them is pockets.

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