Thursday, March 26, 2009

Who is winning?

The annual battle to reclaim the yard and ditches has begun. I spent yesterday with the weed whacker and at the end of the day said to myself "this was a productive day" only to wake up this morning to see that I had only made a dent in the overall weed whacking endeavor. Our ditches are filled with weeds that are knee high in most places and waist high in others. My flower gardens have not only sprouted winter weeds but what remains of the grass in the back yard is trying to take over in those gardens. Winter Weeds and St. Augustine runners~this week, they are the enemy.

With the farmers working the fields, the snakes and the field mice are venturing out and showing up in our yard....and hiding in those winter weeds (and slithering up on to soffits and door frames). Weed whacking is the priority around here now so that those snakes and mice don't think our yard is quite so safe a place to hide out from the tractors.

As I work, I see the spider (egg)sacks that nestle in the stalks of mother in law tongues and rose bushes....I carry a bottle of bug spray as I move through the yard and every so often stop to spray those sacks to get a head start on the coming battle with spiders that will go on all through the summer months. I must say though that I do that spraying with a bit of reluctance....

One morning last spring as the dew lay on the grass and plants around our yard, Hunter came in to get my camera only to find that the batteries were dead. Disappointment evident in his voice, he called to me as he ran around opening all the blinds so that he could show me the site outside those windows.

The sunshine glistened on the dew soaked spiderwebs that covered small areas of less traveled pathways and the branches of the azaleas bushes. I have never seen a more beautiful sight! In awe, Hunter and I looked out of every one of the downstairs windows; it looked as if a fairy or other small creature of legend had gone around our yard and using silver paint and a very thin brush painted swirls everywhere.

Each morning this spring, we have waited to see if that amazing sight would repeat itself; the camera batteries are fully charged in the hope that this year, if we are lucky enough to have that moment of beauty again, we will catch it on video or in photo to share and remember forever.....

So as I venture outside this morning to take up my weed whacking weapon, I will half heartedly carry my spray bottle. I will enter the battle to remain in control of the weeds that hide danger and the egg sacks that carry the thousands of spiders who, if left to survive, will enter my home and take over all the corners and windows and hide in the cabinets and drawers of my kitchen. Those snakes and mice will simply find another place to hide, but most of those spiders will not survive the battle. As I spray destruction on those spider sacks, I will wish that I could leave nature as is and still live in perfect harmony with it ~ all the while knowing that this is a battle that I must win to keep my family safe.

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