Are we being outsmarted by weeds?!
I spent a ton of time yesterday in the backyard removing vines from trees. A job that has been seriously neglected for a few years and the trees are crying out for help. The main culprit is the invasive Japanese Bittersweet. It is actually very pretty in the fall with red berries and I do like the wild look in our small patch of woods and so do the birds, rabbits, and squirrels.
But it is selfish, not happy to exist in harmony with the trees and bushes. It wants to swallow those trees and bushes whole and move on to the front yard and lawn! And it’s stealthy, creeping underground and sneaking up into bushes. Then one day, all of a sudden, you notice you no longer have a tree or a bush but a mountain of vines and beneath it all are thick woody snakes twisted around and chocking the nice tree.
So I am evicting the Bittersweet. If you can’t play nice you can’t stay. Because it is so invasive and pops up everywhere around here it will take ongoing effort and dedication but I mean business. Are you listening, Bittersweet? I am determined! And I must say, I am getting great exercise, think tug-o-war! Sometimes you can pull out the big roots that grown along the ground but it takes your best strong man impression. And strong men get dirty. When you finally win, it gets in one last dirty trick by whipping some at you.
After I cleaned up I took some pictures of my friends. There was a lot of activity back there! Check it out!
This Gray Catbird stuck around a long time and let me get very close.
This young Cottontail hopped out to say hello!
This Northern Flicker must be young. He came close to say hello too!
Hello up there! Mr Squirrel is having a snack.
It’s a deck party at my neighbor’s for sparrows and a juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird who still thinks he is a sparrow?!
And that’s a wren in the front with the sparrows, I think he is thinking something like, eh, close enough!
Also coincidentally I was watching Sunday Morning just now and they had a segment on about weeds. They featured a woman who is at the forefront of a movement to eat weeds. Great idea! After all if they are so hearty why not take advantage of that. Here is her book…
Forage for wild food and discover delicious edible plants growing everywhere—including your backyard—and how best to prepare them to highlight their unique flavors, with this seasonally organized field guide and cookbook (from Amazon).
Watch the segment, weeds are amazing and maybe have a lot to offer and something to teach us…
How about you? Are you winning the battle with weeds? Please share!