USAF Officers Attacked!

Written By: Charles - Jun• 24•08

81  bar falls 29.99 0mph S dew-point 59  Summer, sunny and hot

Waning Gibbous Flower Moon

Each year in late June a convergence of heat, humidity, sun intensity and the growth of weeds combine to make gardening an early morning task for me.  The toddler trees, planted last year, had a considerable collection of weeds around them.  They had to go.

The machete makes short work of the nettles, the most troublesome of the weeds.  They grow tall and block the sun.  They grow from rhizomatous roots, so they send up new plants when the old ones are cut down.  Their main defense, formic acid, makes humans want to stay away from them, hence, the nettlesome person.

Virginia creeper and grapevines also sap a lot of food from the growing area of these young trees and must be pulled up like a zipper, taking out the length of the vine as well as its immediate spot of rooting.  Then there are the other weeds, names unknown to me, that gather in numbers.  Up they come by the handfull.

Last and hardest to remove are the tall grasses, the exact thing desired in the large open area, a sort of meadow, but harmful to the new trees.  Once they’ve become establish the trees will outcompete everything in their area, but these guys haven’t reached that growth stage.

One anecdote I loved from the Maxwell AFB experience involves nature’s own air force.  A single person walking along the east side of the cafeteria building often receives pecks and a dive bomber approach from a towhee who lives on the roof.  The idea of a bird attacking USAF officers is ironic.

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