Scourge

I asked the question “Can there be too much green?” in this blog entry last summer. And I also answered it with a resounding “Yes there can!” I creatively try to compensate our fir needle shaded situation with gardens surrounding our little cottage in the woods thereby satisfying my longing for color in a sea of green.
Don’t get me wrong. I deeply love the woods we call home and appreciate every green needle, shoot, bud and spore but without a bit of color it does get a bit overwhelming.
And it can make one susceptible to the wiles of the devil. Like in the case of Scot’s broom commonly called Scotch broom or bloom, the scourge of the Pacific Northwest.
Here’s an example: There’s ol’ beady eyed Jack if you can notice him on the trail on a winters jaunt surrounded by stiff pointy Scotch Broom. In summer this will be a swath of brilliant yellow. A burst of color in an otherwise sea of green. It would be a delight for my soul if not for the fact that I force myself not to enjoy it. Not to be fooled, whittled or bushwacked, because it’s evil I tell you.
On hot summer afternoons you can hear the ripe and blackened pods of Scotch Broom pop like popcorn. Shooting it’s minions far and wide in claiming more territory for it’s Empire. It’s a Goliath whose arsenal of seeds can live up to eighty years in the soil displacing native species at will.
This scourge of the countryside is a pioneer plant brought here by settlers long ago as an ornamental. It’s an extremely hardy and invasive non-native species that has adapted well. It gains dominance by using it’s attractive sunny blooms in seducing those of us living in the greenest of green environments to letting it hang out awhile. And before you know it, it’s advanced because you’re smitten by it’s devilish charm. Evil scourge!
Okay that sounds harsh, but I’ve been told by aged homesteaders in these parts that this invader is pert near 100% creosote, and if ever sparked would burn hotter than Hades. It gives me the creeps seeing it snuggled up all cozy to the tree line so innocent and purty like. I see it’s horns!
It’s been 25 years since we first began our battle to eradicate Scotch broom from our property. Just yesterday I plucked new shoots growing along our drive. It’s clear this mighty Philistine will continue to wage war long after were gone. I just hope some young ruddy Davids will come up the ranks by then.
Trail log 3.12.11

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