Sunday, October 17, 2010

Battling Honeysuckle

Today I wear
my warrior hat.

The Evil Honeysuckle
has invaded Indiana...

...and I'm out to do battle!

Every day I bike central Indiana

reveling in the beautiful fall colors....

...but I stop aghast

when I see the understory of our woods

choked with the malevolent green

of bush honeysuckle.

It's everywhere!

Like Sleeping Beauty's witch
or Eve's snake

it offers sweet red fruit
that is deadly.

in the spread of the noxious honeysuckle.

It poisons the soil

and steals the spring sun

from our beautiful woodland wildflowers.

So I join INPAWS today

to do battle.

I meet the INPAWS team
on the east side
of Indianapolis.

We are here to clean up
the Gene Glick Nature Preserve -
a lovely 9 acre woods...

....with the ugly green
of honeysuckle
smothering the understory.

We have been brought together
by Linda,
brave leader
of today's endeavor.

We charge into battle
weapons in hand.

We find more than honeysuckle
invading these woods.

We see the nasty vines
of exotic wisteria
strangling several tall trees.

But our task today
is honeysuckle.

There's too much here
for our small group of seven.

But we face the challenge -

Steve attacks the thick striped stems
of our enemy.

With saw and clippers he strikes
at the base of our foe.

While Donovan
drags out huge masses
of vanquished shrubs.

My task is the painting
of the stems.

Blue-dyed herbicide
should stop the return
of the honeysuckle
from the roots.

It's a wonderful feeling
to enter a green-choked
copse of woods...

....cut down numerous
of these
large beastly-limbed plants...

...and watch
the understory
open to the sky!

We see
small native box elders

- freed from the choke of honeysuckle -

stretch their fragile branches
towards the autumn sun.

I must leave...

I have miles to go...

But Linda rushes out
to thank me
for my help today.

Thank you, Linda...

...and all your noble volunteers
for caring for this woods
and the world we are leaving
for our kids!

1 comment:

  1. i agree honey suckle is evil! lol i will nvr forget cutting down a giant honey-suckle bush (may have actually been some other non-native invasive plant but the theory is the same lol) on some Sunday while the other kids and dad were at church/sunday school =D