Tag Archive: plants


If I Was A Blog Post

If I was a blog post, I would be about… huh… drawing a blank. I’m sure there’s a blog post lurking around here somewhere. Maybe I should check under the couch. Perhaps it dropped back behind the way the throw pillows do. Hm, guess not. Maybe I’m just unmotivated. I can’t really claim to have been horribly busy. There have been things to do, for sure, but it’s not been complete craziness.

I could lay some of the blame on spring fever. The weather has been, if not outright lovely, at least plenty nice enough to make outside quite attractive. Spring isn’t my favorite season – that place of honor is held by fall – but there are things about spring I just love, like the incredible range of green shades, the flowers, and how the land wakes up. Early spring is a stormy curmudgeon who has not yet had enough coffee and grumbles about the light.

But once in bloom? Spring makes me wonder if perhaps, after all, the earth is a morning person. It’s (mostly) warmer. The birds seem to share in the joy and are all a twitter-pated. There are wild turkeys out in the woods, and the toms are out there a-gobbling. They have a funny cry. I suppose it’d be scary in the dark if it was unfamiliar. The lambs are in their juvenile delinquent stage. They’re about half sized, still rounded with baby fat, and quite full of themselves. Kimberly has rediscovered her swing. She dons her bike helmet and carefully walks out to the swing. While she’s out there, the hills are alive with the sound of music. If she faces downhill and away from the tree, there’s a bit of an echo from the hills just across the valley. She loves to go out there and sing and sing and sing.

I love being out in all of this, of being a part of this world. It sweeps me away. One day last week, I went out just to transplant a few flowers from their unwanted, volunteer location to the new and highly desirable development near the chicken pen. As I was moving them, I realized that I could use the extra dirt in the beds I’d started for ferns. I just needed a few more rocks! While I was hauling more rocks, I found a hole, which explained how that one hen keeps getting out. I filled the hole and hauled more rocks and talked to Mom, who mentioned the mint waste, and one thing led to another and another… Next thing I knew, I’d been out there about three times as long as I’d planned, and it was well past lunch time!

Spring fever, I suppose. My mind’s outside wandering. I’m sure it will come back eventually. It might even bring a blog post back with it!

Luke 11 and Blackberries

There’s an interesting passage in Luke 11. It says:

24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

It reminds me of blackberries. Yeah, blackberries – I’ve got this (super fun, sorta) project that I’ve been working on in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been carefully grubbing up blackberries and their roots.

Himalayan blackberries love it here in the Willamette Valley. They aren’t native plants, which means that they don’t have terribly effective competition. Given half a chance, they reproduce faster than rabbits. They’ve become a real problem in some of my mom’s pastureland. Most of one field has a low covering of the stalks, the edges sporting snagged wisps of wool waving the sheep flock’s surrender.

There are many methods that could be used to clear the field, to sweep clean the house. Spraying it with an herbicide like Crossbow is pretty popular and probably one of the easiest methods. Herbicides can be effective, but there are possible drawbacks. You can kill off plants you want to keep or leave behind poisonous residues. Hacking, leveling with large equipment, and burning are other methods, none of which are terribly effective and all of which have cons. You see, blackberries have roots, highly resilient, life loving, strive to survive roots. Those roots don’t much care if you hack off all of the shoots above ground. Whatever. They’ll just wait until you’re not looking and put up some more. Death by flames? Haha. Most of those roots will survive just fine. Use large machines to gouge those roots up? YES!!!…. Maybe not so much. Some will die, sure, but some will just get uprooted, reburied, and start – you guessed it – putting up shoots. Those shoots won’t even have any competition but for the other weeds, ‘cause large machinery is nondiscriminatory and digs up everything. Too bad the sheep wanted to eat that grass, huh? It’ll look like you swept the ground clean, but those berry roots are just biding their time, waiting to shoot up and reproduce.

I suppose this is why we’ve found the laborious method of grubbing up blackberries by hand to be the most effective. I get rid most of the roots, and I don’t completely thrash the other plants nearby. Much of the grass is still there, and especially this time of year, it doesn’t waste any time creeping into the empty space. Root removal by Rebekah helps evict those wicked berries and preserves and encourages other plant growth. If all I did was try to clean out the canes, even if I managed to kill off the roots, if I don’t fill the space with something else, those berries will be right back in there growing like mad.

That’s why the story in Luke reminds me of blackberries. I’ve never had any lasting success in keeping a field clear of berries without introducing something positive (plants, animals, etc.) to help control their persistent encroachment attempts. Likewise, I’ve never had any lasting success in my life in overcoming bad habits, repenting of sin, or being delivered of any sort of wickedness if the process stops there. Can’t leave the space empty. It leaves room for all of that junk and then some to make itself right back at home.

Second Story Daffodils

I always look for the daffodils to tell me that spring is coming. My mom looks for the buzzards to return. They are a good indicator that the weather is ready to warm up and bloom, but I like the cheerful hardiness of the daffodils better than the carrion eaters. Imagine that! 😉

The daffys are just starting to roll out their glorious carpet, and Carey stopped for a moment at the end of the lane to grab these three for me. I snapped a few shots and put this one up on my DeviantArt page. As I said there, “Three daffodils, carelessly arranged in a water glass and sitting in the sill of a dirty window, still demonstrate that beauty can be found everywhere.” That’s what I love about daffodils!

Enjoy, folks! Winter is over, and spring nears!