Vineland Place

74  bar steady  29.89  4mph NNE dew-point 64   Summer, warmish and stickyish

Full Thunder Moon

Ah, the power of suggestion.  Especially from a spouse.  Spent an hour and a half clearing burdock, nettles, black locust, burrs, climbing wild cucumbers and virginia creeper from the site of the soon to be firepit cum family gathering spot.  An area in which everything has been removed invites the emergence of those plants whose seeds or rhizomes remain in the soil.

Over the last few rainy, hot weeks nettles have taken nourishment from the former compost heap to grow large, reaching for the sun and laden with formic acid to prevent uprooting.   The wild cucumber which climbs, then produces lacy transparent fruit liked the compost as did the virginia creeper.

While yanking on the long above ground runs of vine and pulling out their equally long runs of below the soil surface roots/rhizomes, I decided to change the name of our property from 7 Oaks, named for the 7 Oaks on the hill outside my writing room window, to Vineland Place.  I have no idea why, but our property is the ideal happy home for vines:  wild cucumbers, Virginia creeper and wild grape.  The wild grape in particular grows vines thicker than my upper arm (OK, so I’m not Ahnold, but still).  We have nurtured a wild  grape that has chosen the six foot fence we had put in the front after Celt began climbing the fence to go greet the neighbors on walks by our house.  At 200 pounds Celt, an Irish Wolfhound, was not a pleasant surprise, though in manner gentle and loving.

As the CO2 level rises with global warming, it favors vines.  I do not recall why.  I could not help but recall this piece of trivia as I drove through Alabama, Mississippi and Lousiana where kudzu has a presence akin to an alien invader.  It grows over lower shrubs and covers the entire highway easement up to the drainage ditches on divided highways.  In more than one case I saw old homes, uninhabited (I think), shrouded under the green of this conqueror vine.

Jon did many projects around Vineland Place when he lived here.  One of the early ones was to cut back the large grape vines that had begun to strangle the oak, ironwood, ash, elm, pin cherry and poplar that make up our woods.