Weeds. a Gardener’s Enemy

How can such a small plot of land produce so many weeds?  And why are they so much healthier than the flowers and vegetables I plant?  I love gardening, but I also prefer to be in control.

I blame Adam!  And his accomplice, Eve!  If they had behaved themselves and not eaten the forbidden fruit, they wouldn’t have been condemned to a life of hard labor, toiling in the garden, etc.

After three years of not being able to enjoy gardening because of physical ailments, I looked forward to this as the year I would conquer the land, grow delicious tomatoes and beautiful flowers.  Not so.

I pruned and fed and mulched the roses, and they bloomed profusely.  But the weeds began to flourish faster than I could pull them.  Of course, they were aided by abundant rains and sunshine, alternately.  I rise early and head for the weed beds, but between the bugs and the humidity, I am soon driven indoors and the weeds continue to thrive.

There’s also a negative physical aspect involved here.  Although my physical condition is much improved, my energy level is not up to par.  I can’t bend over for long periods of time, so I must get on my knees to pull weeds.  That presents another problem – getting back to my feet.  After a half hour of weeding the score is Weeds: 50 – Me 25.  ( or some such ratio). In any event I never get ahead.

I finally got my tomato plants in the ground in June ; they are thriving in spite of the weeds.  When I was pulling weeds at 6 am I discovered that there are several small tomatoes set on.  Hurray!  But experience tells me there will be more weeds tomorrow morning.  Thanks to generous and understanding neighbors, I am surviving on gifts from their garden.

Just like my sports fan friends and family, next year will be my year.  I will discover the secret and conquer the weeds!

 

Sounds

SOUNDS

 

            We are surrounded by sounds.  I’m an early riser, and even in the solitude of a sleeping household, there are sounds – the hum of the refrigerator and the furnace or air conditioner, and the ticking of clocks – “. . .the sounds of silence”.

 

            If you are fortunate enough to live near trees and leave your bedroom window open at night, or make an early morning foray outdoors, you  are treated to the most beautiful music – the singing of birds.  From the chirping of the Cardinals, the chatter of the Tufted Titmouse and Chickadees and the warbling of the Blue Jays, it’s like having a private concert.  It’s their social time and they make the most of it.

 

            Other sounds invade the air in the early morning hours – the far-away whir of traffic on Route 11, interspersed occasionally by the louder sound of diesel engines on big trucks climbing the hill.  Barking dogs announce that they, too, are up and about.  In some places where I have lived, the crowing of roosters also was the signal of a new day.

 

            As the day progresses, so do the sounds.        For approximately nine months of the year, the sound of the school bus, mingled with the voices of children let me know it’s time to get busy with whatever that particular day holds for me.  When the school bus returns in the afternoon, the sound is much different – there is shouting and laughter. Air planes, big and small, criss-cross the sky; an occasional police car, fire engine or ambulance, siren wailing cut into the almost silence and is a signal to stop for a moment and offer a silent prayer.

 

            One can almost tell time by the sounds in some neighborhood.  First, on trash days, the recycling and trash truck arrive fairly early – but not quietly – then the school bus, followed by the opening and closing  of garage doors and the slam of car doors as neighbors depart for their places of employment.  The day has begun.  The U.S. mail delivery and the UPS and don’t have specific schedules, but their presence is identified by the distinctive squeal of brakes and the shutting down and starting of their engines.  And, of course, the door bell and the telephone – will it be good or bad news?

 

            Many people are intolerant of total silence, so they keep a TV or radio on at all times, with background music, talk shows or news.  I used to be one of those, but have learned to do without.  God gave us five senses – hearing, seeing, smelling, feeling and  tasting.  Being slightly visually challenged, I often think about those who are born without one or more of these senses.  I think living without the sense of hearing would be very strange. To be deprived of the daily sounds that surround us ; never to hear a new baby cry, a toddler laugh, the wind rushing through the trees, the booms of a thunder storm; a marching band, piano or orchestra concert, a car horn signaling danger, or a car horn signaling a friendly greeting, ocean waves crashing on the beach, a water fall or a stream running over rocks in the woods, the ding of the cash register or beep of the electronic scanner;  a beautiful soprano voice singing “The Lord’s Prayer”, or a crowd singing the National Anthem.  I treasure these sounds and it saddens me to think of people living their whole life in a void without them.

 

            We all know about stopping to smell the roses – I’m suggesting that we stop and listen – and be thankful for the ability.

 

           

                       

Murder in the Forest

English: An American Black Bear (Ursus america...

English: An American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) at the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitat. Photo taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 in Avery County, NC, USA. Cropping and post-processing performed with The GIMP. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been peaceful and serene for seven years – the hill I live on – framed on two sides by a mini forest.  It as a haven for a variety of birds, squirrels, rabbits, a family of deer, an occasional red fox, and for at least two years, a black bear.  All were welcome except the bear –  but only because he destroyed all the bird feeders in the nearby back yards.

Recently, the peace  and tranquility was suddenly disturbed and replaced by he rattle and roar of a huge yellow bulldozer, belching ugly  black smoke as it ripped full-gown trees out of the ground.  Then came he shill whine and scream of he chain saws as hey trimmed branches off he trees and sliced he trunks into 8 or 20 foo lengths.   Even worse was the chomping of the tree tops and limbs in he chipping machine, and the clouds of dust rising from the growing mountain of mulch.   In other words, the whole scene is ugly!

Of greater concern to us now is the environmental disturbance that has occurred.  No longer will we have a natural windbreak of trees behind our homes.   Already the wind roars up the hill from the front of the houses so that nothing light-weight is safe in the front yard; now the back of the houses will also suffer.  Ever since moving here,  we battled the water flowing down from the property behind our homes, which is at a much higher elevation.  After finally getting it properly channeled into a narrow, controlled and landscaped drainage area, now we have a much wider expanse of the higher elevation to contend with since there is no vegetation to slow down the flow.

And what about the displaced wild life?  That small forest contained countless bird and squirrel nests which have now been toppled, chewed up and spit into a mountain of mulch.  The hatter of the squirrels and the singing of the birds has been replaced by the roar of machinery and the banging of hammers.

Why?  To build a house?  The piece of land is too small to contain anything more than a very small house.  There are plenty of houses for sale in the area and there is plenty of barren land for building.  Why squeeze a tiny house on a piece of property just because it is there?  Why destroy a natural habitat?  Why disturb the beauty and peace and tranquility of a neighborhood?  GREED is the only answer that comes to this blogger’s mind – greed and a lack of consideration for others.

TWO WEEKS LATER . . .

The tiny forest has been replaced by the beginnings of a two-story house – it looms on the horizon like a giant square mushroom!  No amount of privacy fencing and landscaping will provide what we had with the forest.  The birds and squirrels have been silenced and the gentle swaying of the pine trees has been stilled.

 

My view from the hill has been forever distorted!  I am sad.