Saturday, June 18, 2005


'Tis the season for whacking weeds.

"Weeds" is the name we Americans give living things that are trying to live where we don't want them to live.

Now don't get me wrong...I love a new mowed lawn as much as anybody once it has become a "New mowed lawn" and perhaps the prophet Sebastian had the right idea when he said he liked to get drunk and fall on his face on somebody else's new mowed lawn...It is the process of creating this phenomena that I don't like...the actual "Mowing" if you will.

I don't like the sound of internal combustion engines. Not only that, but the small ones are horrible polluters. A two cycle weed eater can put as much into your atmosphere in one hour as a modern automobile does in a month. I've seen some estimates that go much higher.

This method of warfare used by the weeds against humanity is essentially the same one used by the terrorists to destroy American society, by the way. Sure a few weeds get mutilated and die in the battle, but ultimately they will win, as stupid humans poison the very world that must support them and their children, doing battle with the weeds...And guess what? Go look outside and tell me who's winning!

My Grandpappy made my Dad kill weeds, my Dad made me kill weeds, and I have fallen into the same pattern and made my sons kill weeds. If humanity can survive the after effects of the Bush administration, not a given at this point in human existence, there is no doubt my sons will also require their children to... Kill weeds.

I have been in third world countries that do not have much in the way of small internal combustion engines and they have found that properly managed sheep and goats work just fine against the evil of weeds. As a reward for killing weeds the goats and sheep are then eaten on festive occasions, which leads us to the ultimate revenge of the farm animal at such time that all weeds have been vanquished...Humans then have to learn to live in a desert, which is what you have once the weeds are all dead and the stupid humans have developed an unquenchable appetite for meat.

I have this weird thought that some bio-geneticist will come up with a human engineered bacteria that will eat old dead lawnmowers and poop meat and then everything will be OK. This is the process by which we get beer, after all. Why shouldn't it work for meat, with the proper engineering?

Or you could just do what I have done, which is to develop a love for weeds. Once you start liking them, they aren't weeds anymore, right? Nearly all of them have a flower of some type if you watch closely, and There is hardly a more wondrous plant in existence than the common weed, dandelion. And, once you have downed a proper amount of Sake and been served Dandelion tempura, You will never again view the Dandelion as a weed. I still "poof" the mystical balls of dandelion seeds with their built in gossamer parachutes.

All this came to me yesterday as I was looking at an invasive plant, originally planted on purpose, now running rampant into the zoysia. "WEED!" I thought. Then I picked a leaf, crushed it and held it to my nose, breathing deeply. AS the potent smell of mint filled my head, I became aware of a sudden sense of relaxation throughout my body. Nature's aroma therapy just for me.

OK, Weed, you are forgiven. It is I who have sinned, not you. Thanks for the rush.




  1. I inherited a small corner of mint by my garage. I like the scent that rises when I'm walking through it to put away the noisy, stinkin' mower. (I'm letting more poke grow in my yard this year)

    Mowers as they are today are the inventions of a certain type of man -- a branch related to the ones whose esteem for their motorcycles is based on the loudness of the rumble.

    Women are genuinely puzzled by mowers and their mechanics. Who but men would invent something that has to be started with a yank?

  2. ML said:

    "Who but men would invent something that has to be started with a yank?"

    Well sure...but what's your point?

  3. What you do, as you transition from murderer to caretaker, is drop the word "weeds" entirely and go to "native plants"! I hate lawns ("monoculture" which is bad for the environment) and so my yard (fenced with cedar posts from cattle and deer) is entirely native plants except for the geraniums and plumbago and basil and bay I have on the porch in pots.

    The yard has all kinds of certifiable central Texas native flora and fauna. I have a (feminine) Ryobi electric weedeater (yank-free) with a long cord and I weed-eat natural paths so everyone gets to walk through my weeds-uh-native-plants and enjoy them. To keep the veg down on the paths, quite apart from the weedeater, I use Stuff From Tennessee. It's called BurnOut and it comes from around Knoxville I think and it's hyper-super-vinegar with clove oil. The addition of clove oil began after I discovered adding orange oil to the intense vinegar made the vinegar stick. I told the Tennesseans about that and lo and behold the next year they started selling it with clove oil. Smells nice. Whether with orange or clove, it works better than non-organic weedeaters, too.

    The result is a yard which is enormously wild-visitor friendly. It's now so raucous in the evening that I have to close the door if I want to listen to music. The cone flowers and coral honeysuckle and salvia are abuzz with hummers. Lots of nests under the eaves with lots of peep-peep coming from them.

    What a mess!

  4. I just yank my weeds out by the roots and move onto the roundup when it gets to be too much. ML does understand men, doesn't she?

    I gotsa a bunch of poke. I've found I can use the purple berries to dye all sorts of things like the carpet and stuff. Martha Stewart would be sooooo proud.

  5. Prairie,

    I'm impressed with your contribution to plant-control without poisoning the earth.

    Now I'm going to order up some Burnout for the less enlightened flks in my family.