A dandelion in bloom says the bees could be getting ready to swam. But not when the dandelion blooms in November.
Forsythia blooms when its time to put corn gluten on the grass. But not when the forsythia blooms in November.
Rosa ragusa is still blooming at the beach. And Daucus carota, Queen Anne’s lace, is in bloom in the south east corner of the meadow. See the photo.
The meadow pops with grasshoppers. A dragonfly caught bugs while I snipped nearby. A white moth flew out of the dry thatch I removed. I was stung twice but not by the bees, a few of whom were out foraging. In the still warm soil, the worms, always sluggish, seem no less content than when the sun is high in the sky.
The color in my cheeks is not from the cold. Were it not for fear of ticks, a short-sleeved shirt would be sufficient warmth for meadow work.
The deer eat the berries off the winterberries, robbing the robins of a spring snack. But on a rainy day last week, the white-throated sparrows jumped up and down under the agastache to get its seeds to fall and seemingly had a treat. They have not returned on dry days, although the agatache still have lots of seeds that could be consumed. The rain made picture taking impossible, but today I photographed the agastache themselves.
With more than a week of unseasonable weather, the pile of stems and roots keeps growing. The next dump run will require 2 trips. In addition to what’s in the photos, shed #1 and the back seat of the Saab are also storing bagged clippings.
In the south eastern corner where I could not spray without collateral damage to desirable plants, the stems are thick and the long. This are has been mowed annually but the stems close to the ground don’t seem to be disturbed. A good deal of thatch has built up as well. I mostly cut the stems to the ground.
A patch closer to the bee hives has been mowed more than once a year because it is mostly grasses where the bittersweet has not killed them off. Here, with the killing power of the herbicide, I could pull up some root.
In either case, it is satisfying to remove long stems or trailing roots. It is not so satisfying to realize that the ground if full of bittersweet root.
In the mid section of the meadow, to the south of the new septic field, the task of snipping bittersweet was entangled — literally — by dewberry. Dewberry roots along its stems but at a distance that is, distressingly, just longer than my reach. My wrists are dotted with thorn wounds and my back aches from the long reach that each stem requires. The dewberry leaf is colorful this time of year. And each stem is firmly rooted. I think dewberry goes on the herbicide list next year, even if the Indians did raise it for its fruit. I have not noticed that my dewberry fruits, but I’ll pay more attention in the spring.