GLFCAM — NoMowMay
Those with a lawn are encouraged to mow less, and to not mow at all in the month of May, a critical time especially for butterflies, bees and other bugs to feast on wild flowers. Sadly, we seem to be the only people participating in our neighborhood. Next year, I hope we can have a #NoMowMay sign put in our yard, both to let the neighbors know why our house looks like a meadow, and to spread the word and hopefully encourage others to consider doing the same.
More than anything, our climate change studies have helped me gain tremendous perspective, to understand climate change from the vantage point of the individuals experiencing and digesting it, and to hear of their struggles, worries, and aspirations as they ride the rogue waves of this crisis. And while it is necessary to learn about the experiences of those most immediately affected by climate change in various parts of the world, I am equally interested in the stories I have heard from every one of you. As a fellow musician, I often find your thoughts and solutions to be more easily applicable in my own life.
In the wunderschönen month of May, the foliage in Ontario transitions (over a few days) from lifeless frozen grey to a tropical rain forest with a hundred shades of green. We have been experiencing many temperature oddities this year, a very mild winter, followed by an erratic April and May that swung between 25-30 (centigrade) degree temperatures, and freezing cold, setting many records along the way for the hottest and coldest days for the time of year. As I type, we are in the middle of a heat wave warning. This year, we are participating in a campaign called “#NoMowMay“: Those with a lawn are encouraged to mow less, and to not mow at all in the month of May, a critical time especially for butterflies, bees and other bugs to feast on wild flowers. The campaign was initiated by Plantlife, and caught on quickly around the world and has been circulating widely on social media. Sadly, we seem to be the only people participating in our neighborhood. Next year, I hope we can have a #NoMowMay sign put in our yard, both to let the neighbors know why our house looks like a meadow, and to spread the word and hopefully encourage others to consider doing the same.
Thanks to this initiative, we discovered all sorts of new wildflowers in our own backyard, which we had cut in previous years before they had a chance to appear. We now share our home with a beautiful Eastern Bumble Bee who lives in a screw hole on the stairs to our house, and feasts on the wildflowers, as well as many varieties of butterflies (pictures of our yard-meadow, the Bumble Bee enjoying a Solomon’s seal, and a mourning cloak butterfly having a seat in our yard attached). As you may know, there has been a significant reduction in the population of many butterfly and bee species in recent years, and they are fighting for survival by changing their breeding patterns.
I am also continuously thinking of ways in which we can make our practice, as musicians, more green and sustainable. The hardest part has been to identify the priorities, the areas needing the most immediate attention (apart from the obvious one being frequent long-distance travel). Like many of you, I have also been receiving strong resistance from organizations when I suggest alternative approaches in their plans going forward. It boggles my mind: many of them imply that they are short on funds coming out of the pandemic, perhaps as an excuse to offer subpar rates, yet they are unwilling to consider more economical solutions. It has been my hope that we might be more able to ask for a hybrid of in-person and virtual appearances going forward, and support local musicians, but at this stage, most organizations seem to be tired of the virtual platform, and very eager to go back to an in-person format, start traveling/touring, and collaborating with international names again.
Please feel free to send me your thoughts!