Negotiating Obstacles With a Scythe

In my experience, as a mower who focuses and values more the quality of the mowed area than the amount of area mowed, the “graduation” of a scyther comes when he or she negotiates with ease a stony field or a rugged, steeply sloped area, leaving those stones—usually close together and irregularly shaped—perfectly naked and manicured.

IMG_0016 IMG_0104 IMG_1611 IMG_0099The same holds true for mowing around, trees, fences, gates, even stone walls, which sometimes must be mowed vertically!

stone wall


stone wall after

To mow grass on a flat, clean area is a wonderful luxury and joy, but to look back on a rocky area that has been mowed and cleaned is supreme satisfaction.

One curious thing about mowing those stony areas is that, somehow, the same way that a dart player can land three darts next to each other without hesitation or much thinking (muscle memory) is how the experienced mower remembers the way, order and direction that those stones were approached in the past. Literally, he or she knows their way around. (I have thrown a lot of darts… I guess I like pointy things.)

In this situation, it is better to have a very well-honed blade than a recently peened one. A blade that has been mowing for at least half an hour prior to introducing it to that rocky area becomes a little dull and will see less damage after that almost inevitable and unfortunate encounter with a stone.

Lesson to remember: Always approach obstacles from their front, facing/closer to you, never from their back.

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