My 9-year-old niece stopped by while I was mowing yesterday, and since my mower is quiet
, she came up to talk to me. As I walked (I had to get it done before we left on vacation), she would find small frogs and grasshoppers and bring them to me. I had seen the little frogs before, but I never realized how many different grasshoppers we have.

Update 2003-07-28
: Looking back on it, I should have stopped mowing and dug through the grass with my niece. Mowing, no matter how quiet or environmentally friendly, is still just mowing. It forces blinders on me and the lawn as we enter our roles as mower and mowee.

Playing with a 9-year-old, on the other hand, forces your eyes wide open – there’s no telling what could happen. A week or 10 years later, I’ll never remember the mowing, but I might never forget that time with my niece.