Friday, June 19, 2015
Five Photos, Five Stories: Day 1
Todd and Bootsy have shared yard duties -- kill gophers. These critters destroy trees, pastures and gardens. Yet we have a self-imposed no chemical policy. I'm an organic gardener so we employ the hose and cat for gopher pest control.
Gophers can dig up a wide swath of soil in a single night. They mound dirt like burgeoning volcanoes. Wherever the gophers destroy land, knapweed sprouts. This noxious weed is one I battle by hand, spade and moth. I can't say I've been successful, but without access to burn and till our pastures it's the best I can do without harming the pond eco-system.
The hose is Todd's weapon of choice and he floods the burrows as soon as we see a hill emerge. Bootsy often leaves me head-bounties and I can tell the gopher head from other rodents. They make a good team, the Hub and Barn Cat, but it's not a perfect process. Poison would be more effective, but it kills more than rodents.
Yet the gentle Lepidoptera resting in the barren space is why I don't use chemicals to combat pests and weeds. Though others might look with disdain at my weedy or hill-ridden land, butterflies, birds and bumblebees proliferate here.
Sometimes, I think we need to adjust what is beautiful. I'd rather have swallowtails than a perfect lawn.
The photos in this series will focus on pollinators and garden helpers, as I learn to improve my organic gardening skills. A big thank you to Norah Colvin for inviting me to participate in the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge. This is Day 1 and I nominate Ruchira Khanna to take up the challenge when she returns from vacation and if she is so obliged to participate.
The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:
1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!