Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary or The Great RoundUp Overreaction

“Mary, Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?”
Nursery Rhyme

I sat outside for about half an hour at 6:00AM this morning in shorts and a spaghetti strap top. Today’s high should soar toward 80 degrees.

Mom’s lettuce, spinach, and radishes simply were not fazed by the 3 inches of snow that we got last Sunday. The wild garlic has come up. The trees are all budding and the cedar in the backyard is giving us all pollen fits. The whole backyard is greening up nicely.

All the birds are here. I listened to mourning doves, woodpeckers, the ever-present mockingbirds, and cardinals singing away. Yesterday I watched a squirrel dig up and eat iris and jonquill bulbs that have divided and divided and divided over the last 40 years. I haven’t been down to the little creek but I have no doubt that the crawdads are crawdaddin’ away.

Oh yeah, things are living back there just fine.

See, there was this deal about the yardman spraying the place with the horticulture chemical RoundUp…

After seeing large areas of the yard not curl up, turn brown, or die, I did more inquiring into this chemical spraying. I carefully grilled my poor Mom, who never had a chance.

She simply does not really know what the yardman sprayed in the yard. She saw him spraying a small area, but never actually asked him what chemical he was using. She told me to call him if I was just dead-set on finding out. No need to. Really, she might consider asking for a refund if part of the charge for the work included chemical spraying for unwanted plant killing because the yard is growing!

He did spray, and he used some chemical that I could taste and smell. It did trigger a Migraine attack that seems to have morphed into the annual March Migraine, and the stress of the whole thing set off a mild Meniere’s attack. But no chemical burns, no new illness, and no dead weeds.

I just don’t think it was RoundUp after all. And after we considered it, Mom doesn’t really think it was either. She assumed it was RoundUp, but there just isn’t any evidence that whatever was used actually did any damage to the weeds. Heck, it may have been fertilizer.

My mother, with her green thumb that goes all the way to her elbow, broke off several branches from her tomatoes back in November and stuck them in a pot of dirt. They’re blooming. She gets this botanical talent from her mother. There is a story of my grandmother sticking the dead stem from a rose blossom into the ground and a rose bush springing up from it.

If I were to let my highly overactive imagination run free, I could picture my Mom, by sheer force of will, overcoming the effects of lawn chemicals. Or, maybe the man did spray fertilizer.

All things considered, it seems to have been much ado about nothing from merry Contrary Mary here.

Just waiting now to hear the wood thrush. It winters-over somewhere other than around here but about this time last year, I heard it. I had hoped and dreamt that I would hear the sweet flute-like song again before I died. It had been many years since I had first heard it at Payne Lake State Park out camping with my folks.

Oh…the windows are open here…and I just heard it! I heard it! Just for a moment, but I heard the wood thrush!

Going to listen and dream now! :D

On Twitter--Parin Stormlaughter

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