Our EarthPlanet Earth

Sins of our Forefathers

For longer than I’m comfortable admitting, I’ve struggled to identify this weird fragrant life on our chunk of Planet Earth. In my defense, we do have a few Serviceberry trees, which look like huge bushes… so it’s not the least bit stupid that this ‘tree’ we’ve been puzzling over is actually a bush.

We’ll have some work to do this year {as if that’s not always the case?} because the excitement of finally identifying this life is laced with distress. Honeysuckle bushes aren’t native to this area; they spread easily as birds poop out seeds from the berries that appear in autumn, and they are terrible neighbors. Last weekend Zeffy and I stood outside in the space we’ve been clearing; ‘where is that smell coming from?’ we ask each other and poke around. During this quest we discover another mulberry tree, which is exciting because it makes food and that makes us happy. Personally I find the berries a weird flavour of bland, but birds and Zeffy like them so who cares?

Tuesday morning was warm and sunny, so I was outside in the above mentioned area ripping strangling vines off the aforementioned trees {wild grapevines are half of everywhere out here, no idea what their deal is but I’ve never seen any grapes}. Yet, the very next day {today} I was awake way too early so surfed the internets to see if I might finally learn the identity of our mystery bushes… later today I’ll have to go out there with the snipers and possibly a shovel to murder that mystery bush which is no longer a mystery.

It’s possible that our mulberry trees {turns out there are 2! Each have trunks about an inch thick and are already upwards of 3ft tall} will never survive living next to a honeysuckle bush because these bushes suck up all local nutrients.

A long time ago they were brought here as ornamental bushes; they grow fast, thrive anywhere and don’t you dare think this is awesome or convenient because it’s not! Honeysuckle bushes are classified as invasive and they disrupt natural, local growth.

The image of my moment now almost makes me wish I could use a camera telepathically; I sit with Haruka curled up on my left leg {my keyboard sits on my lap} which only works because she’s so little. Squeaks is camped out in the window to my right, which is open several inches and inviting a lovely breeze that fills the room with scent as well as flutters my beautiful hippy curtain.

When the breeze outside is rustling leaves, I can smell our nearby honeysuckle bushes. It’s sad to think that I’ll have to kill many of them.

I’ve just returned from a quest to review what we’ve got of this bad-neighbor mofo; I tore up the one by those 2 mulberry trees and put a big rock on what’s left of the root. There’ll be no sunlight for that jerk! I found a pair by our young oak tree, but didn’t have the stamina or strength to dig them up so I just trimmed them short and gave up on the digging. We have a huge one over where our gazebo will go one day, it’s easily 20 feet tall by my measure {which isn’t accurate} and apparently there are 4 much smaller ones nearby. The website I explored at 2am this morning was right about how they soak up all local nutrients—the only thing growing nearby was tiny honeysuckle bushes. This is a problem we’ll have to discuss because we have a few younger trees—mostly red maples—we don’t want starved to death.