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Monday, April 16, 2012

Tip Tuesday--Bluebonnets

We've had a wonderful season of bluebonnets and if you've been driving around Central Texas you might have noticed that some of the bluebonnet patches have been taken over by a very tall yellow flower.

I read a little about this plant in our local newspaper and the plant is called Chinese Cabbage.  After looking at the plants I would say they look more like a spinach plant than a cabbage, but I can make it work.  Anyway it seems that these plants are crowding out the bluebonnets and the invasive plant is trying to make a takeover.

We have a lovely patch of bluebonnets in the back.

Well they were lovely back in March at the end of Spring Break, but that's the last time I've been back there.  It's been a great year thanks to all the rain in February.

The grass is so tall and I'm terrified of finding a snake, or worse; it/them finding me.  We've seen lots of dead rattlesnakes on the road already, heard the neighbors telling about how many they have seen around their houses, etc..

Then there was the 3' moccasin that surprised one of us yesterday morning.  Uh, if it had been me, I would not be writing this because I would still be on the roof.

Since the snake was right by the porch, and there was a startle factor, he had to go.  Oh and he hissed at the startled party as well.

The startled party was able to figure out how to get past the meanie without calling anyone and waking them up while they were away at college.  But I heard in the story that there was some hesitation and thought at how to get around the situation and back into the house.

All of this is to say, if you put your kids in the bluebonnets for pictures, and I've certainly done it more than once,  please oh please be careful.
These were taken in 2005, can you believe how little J was?  Me either.

So back to the cabbage...Last week J and I walked up and back on our road/driveway and cut all of the cabbage we could find.  Then we piled it up into a giant pile.

Thanks to the stiff South winds on Saturday, all of that blew back up onto the driveway and into the yard.

Tonight, I was determined to make it burn, particularly because I was sure that these dried up plants
would start to drop seeds at any moment.

Matches wouldn't do the trick.  A little petrol to get things going; didn't make the difference.

This is what gave me old fashioned fire starter that I learned to make in Girl Scouts.

empty TP tube + dryer lint + melted candle wax. 

I had a couple of these made up by the fireplace and when all modern methods failed I went to the trusted and true.

J did the honors of lighting the match.  We made sure everything burned up.

1. Be careful of snakes if you're taking bluebonnet pictures
2. Cut down any Chinese Cabbage plants that you can before they go to seed.
3. Always count on a former Girl Scout to be prepared, get things started and finish the job.

P.S.  You guys send such great comments to me, I'd love for others to be able to read them too, can you post them on the blog?  Post anonymously if you'd like and sign your initial so we can guess who you are, or make up a name.


Anonymous said...

Eradication specialist Bertha Bumiller here. I am a member of a special ops team whose mission is to destroy the BBC. The Baneful Bastard Cabbage that is, not the limey, liberal, democrat news company. The bastard cabbage is a sinful carbuncle on God’s precious earth. It is a non-native and highly invasive species originating from North Africa and parts of the Middle East – a veritable hotbed of sinful activity. Like most things that tempt the body and soul, the bastard cabbage is as beautiful and alluring as a leggy blonde. It begs you to bring it home, to your table, to drink your water while spreading its tiny, mustard-like seeds all along the way. These vile beauties are out competing our native wildflowers by using precious resources and choking them in a swift and methodical manner. The bastard cabbage must be pulled by the root to kill the plant but the dastardly thing will drop so many seeds from the time you touch it to the time you put it in its garbage can coffin it will continue to propagate with a ferociousness previously known only to the Mongols. We are looking at three to five seasons of pulling weeds to rid ourselves of what we have now. In the meantime, we will need vigilance to fight to bastards that are not being pulled and thus continue to spread. In California they love a car chase but here in Tuna nothing beat a good ol’ vigilante. Regulators! Ride!

Anonymous said...