Saturday, April 23, 2011


The wind has shifted and even now as our friends to the north are riding waves of cold fronts and savage weather; we are bathed in Gulf of Mexico laden humidity, and breezes that echo the sounds of waves hard on our bright white beaches. This morning, while sitting on the patio, the sun rose up above the horizon and burst through the small passage between live oaks at the southeast corner of the yard.

The brilliant light highlighted by dust and all other kinds of natural matter spotlighted the view through the trees. To be scientific about the phenomenon; those lovely rays of light are called "Crepuscular" rays. I won't try and explain the wonderful effect. Look it up if it is really of interest to you. You've seen it, especially at sunrise, and sunset. God's fingers some call them among other names. to me Myrtle sat, quiet, yawning, and perhaps anticipating her hunt for moles, and squirrels and other invaders of her kingdom defined by our fence. She is an effective hunter, too effective for my liking. Her instinct is much more pronounced than our last boxer's sense of the hunt appeared. Delight springs forth when she presents a mole at the sliding glass door. A muted and sad aura hangs on the air when an unfortunate bird, or a squirrel is left on the mat for us to marvel over. She is a vigilant and wary protector of her kingdom and of us. Her muffled bark warns of some unknown danger or intruder. One takes the unfortunate with the fortunate. Training the hunt out of her would take and enormous effort and even then one is not sure the training would take hold.

The back yard is growing well, St.Augustine grass, that which did not die this last winter is thriving. Because of the near drought conditions, growth is sure but muted. Watering is on the agenda today. That and a continued assault on Tradescantia, better known as Spiderwort. Years ago, I brought back two spiderwort plants from Bon Secour over in Alabama. For years there were just a few in the backyard lending a colorful and bright addition to the backyard during the mornings. Their bright small blue flowers last but a day. However the plant is prolific, so much so that it took over a sizable area of my yard near my square foot garden area and the fig tree.

I have this spring begun a campaign and that is what it amounts to a campaign to eradicate the now weed like growth from the backyard. I have no doubt that I have dug up several hundreds of the plant. Fortunately they are easy to dig up with a compact central root system, a couple of loosened areas around the plant, and one can pull and shake and out they come. I still have hundreds to go. I have learned one can eat the leaf, the stem and the flower. Saute the leafs, boil, or saute the stems. The flowers can be eaten raw. I don't plan on doing that, but if you want to give it a try, Google "Green Deane" and he will show you how to do it.

What one can find in nature, the footnotes that enhance the obvious we see intrigues me, and I can look for hours at something, learning more and more about our natural world. The knowledge will never earn me a nickel. But the satisfaction of learning about our world is the richness I crave. So, learn from me, don't put spiderworts in your yard. Or "Cow Slobber" will take over in a short time.  Cut a stock of spider wort and you ill understand why it is called cow slobber. Meanwhile, I have some more digging to do.