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  • Susan Russell


Spring is here, but many of us have hardly noticed, thanks to the “clouds” recently! Last year, Spring was under an overcast sky with Covid. This year, the sky has darkened due to a terrible war in Europe. Unfortunately, yet another cloud now covers our sunny sky: April’s IPCC report has told us the window for reversing climate change is closing. So many promising flowers are budding in Spring soon, yet, so many darkening clouds on the horizon. Despite all that, here is some GOOD NEWS: You can help clear some of those “clouds”. What is more, helping is so very easy that it sounds like a joke: DO NOTHING! You see, in Spring not only grass remembers to start growing, flowers do so as well. Not the flowers you planted, maybe, but native, ground covers and long stemmed flowers like forget-me-nots and dandelions. You might not have noticed them, while first mowing your grass, but others did- the pollinators! By now, various species of butterflies, birds, bees, and other pollinators have probably already visited these early blooms. With the current ban on imports from Russia and the suspension of grain imports from Ukraine, the world needs the pollinators more than ever. Did you know that we owe every third bite of our food to bees? To simply “DO NOTHING, NO MOWING” in April and May will allow the pollinators to thrive, besides helping feed the planet. Pollinators prefer native flowers over cultivated ones. [Doug Tallamy, professor/author of “Bringing Nature Home”] At the end of May, feel free to mow, though preferably with a person powered or an electric mower. You can also participate in the annual contest: GROW the GRANDEST DANDELION, a Village special. [ The Advertiser gets credit for this 3rd year contest, email your picture before May 15:]

Rethink your idea about a perfect lawn. It will answer what we need most: healthy ecological spaces that allow biodiversity, from insects to all different types of wildlife. Spraying your lawn, will result in excluding this needed buffer of biodiversity we lack to keep us safe. In our quest for power over nature, we kill off our own protection on this planet. Also, the sprays have resulted in neurological diseases for many. Is the price for green that high? My youngest art students delight in making green with yellow and blue. Exactly the colors of the early Spring bloomers in your lawn. And by the way, two colors of the flag of a nation, we try to support any way we can, right? Show them off this year, as bright and high as you can. It is simple: By doing nothing: NO MOW May #, NO SPRAY #, Let it Bee! # No Mow May is an international initiative, started in 2019 in UK, when a lack of meadows failed to feed the pollinators. # No Spray, is a local initiative, “Give a gnome a home” Erie County. # IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/UN. -Submitted by Jeannet de Jong

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