First off - I can't take credit for the photo (my colleague Roxanne) or for the occasion - my colleague Mary taught a class, in which one of the class projects was a demonstration of non-gas mowers. I can only take credit for the mower, my lovely Brill, with which I just mowed our half-acre lawn (OK, probably a third, when you remove house and garden areas) this evening, while the kids played ball and harassed their chickens.
Reel mowing isn't normally as easy as the lovely student makes it seem. First, I set the height a bit high, so that her mowed swaths don't actually show any differently from the uncut lawn, but more importantly so she could move the thing in her outfit. My lawn was overgrown this evening, so many sections required backing up and mowing again over the same spot.
But it is every bit as pleasant as she makes it look. It is quiet, and while she was demonstrating she was walking with friends and telling them about it while they mowed. Try that with a gas, or even electric, mower! When the girls yell to tell on each other or to tell me what their chickens are doing, I can hear them, and the moment I stop moving, the small amount of noise I am making (a rhythmic spinny clicking noise) stops instantly. The world smells pleasant while I use it (don't ask how I smell when I'm done). Since I don't normally wear heels for mowing, I don't do double duty by aerating the lawn, as our lovely model is doing. However, I find it easy to mow around my favorite patches of bluets, hawkweed, or yarrow. The mower won't even cut twigs, so I never worry about it cutting off little or big people's fingers or toes. I can hear the birds sing on summer evenings, while mowing.
And once a week, my workout doesn't require that I go running on streets with no sidewalks, nor does it require biking miles from home without the children. I get a great workout, upper and lower body both, mowing my yard. There is a local auto shop, called Fossil Free Fuels, which will convert your diesel vehicle to run gracefully on straight veggie oil. I'm not mechanical, so this is my Fossil Free venture. The neighbors comment at times on me doing this the hard way, and I know this mower isn't for everyone. But it is, unquestionably, the mower for me.
Even if I don't look quite this lovely using it.