A new perspective?
We have lived on this 35 acre property for 32 years. When we moved here, there were some woods, some fields, and some crop fields. We decided we wanted to let it all grow up. The man who first owned this property had planted 3 long rows of japanese bush honeysuckle, Russian olive, raspberries, and several stands of black walnut.
It was only fairly recently that we realized that some of this stuff was invasive........big time. My husband tried to pull it out for years (we don't use chemicals). It was a losing battle.
Long story short......much of our acreage is covered in jap. honeysuckle........some 15' tall. And we thought we had gotten rid of the Russian olive, but it has had a resurgence.
If Black Walnuts weren't native......I'd say they were invasive too! We have thousands of them popping up on a daily basis.
Our focus has been wildlife. For years we thought the jap. honeysuckle was great because the birds ate the berries like crazy. And it seemed like every single seed that was pooped out has grown like crazy.
We also have wild yam, poison ivy, garlic mustard, wild grape, euonymous vines, and many other vines I can't identify.
We are in our 60's and can no longer deal with this. My husband keeps the immediate yard cleared, and a couple other spots in the woods that are special. We do have virginia creeper growing in many places, and Dutchman's Breeches, and a few weeks ago I found a big Jack-in-the-Pulpit. There are lots of good things here too. This spring, even under all the honeysuckle, large areas of trout lilies were growing, and we have wild ginger.
So..........this leads me to my conflicted feelings about trying to get rid of invasives. I suppose if you have an acre, its not that hard to get rid of them. But 35 acres is too much.....especially when the entire area has all these invasives, which would quickly repopulate our property.
Plus.......we love birds and have many kinds........which poop seeds from everywhere here.
As a country (and world, I suppose), we encourage movement all over the place. We now have birds and plants and animals from everywhere. How can we possibly ever "go back" to just our native stuff? The public wants what they want, and the nursery owners sell what the public wants.
I have become very despondent over the state of our property. I recently accidentally came upon someone's blog who was having the same problem and she essentially said "Globalization is here to stay", and she couldn't fight it any more and would just try to keep the immediate area around her house clear of these things. I really agree with her.
Here's my thinking...........of course we adore the natives.
When I found that Jack-in-the-Pulpit I just about cried. But time marches on. Are we in a stage, evolutionarily speaking, when things are just going to change.......whether we like it or not? Are we just fighting evolution..........the survival of the fitest? Only the strong survive??
For someone who doesn't have this amount of acreage I know what I am saying might sound unreasonably pessimistic. But I HAVE to start feeling better about this situation, without paying thousands of dollars for the core of engineers to come in and get rid of this stuff.........or using chemicals that will harm the natives...........all of which will be futile, unless the whole country/world starts getting rid of these things. (Asia has invasives bought from the U.S. too!)
So.........I'm in the process of encouraging all the natives I can........but accepting that I have these "adopted" plants all over that obviously love living here.. And the birds love all of it...........for cover, food, etc.
Do we, at some point, have to cry uncle? ..........and accept what seems to be the way its going to be?
I'm having real struggles over this. We love taking our evening ride in our golf cart through the woods and fields. But lately, its mostly a honeysuckle ride.......interspersed with vines all over.
I honestly can't bear it if you're going to say "just keep trying to get rid of it"......because we CAN'T.
So I guess you could say I'm trying to take a more Zen approach to it all.....and concentrate on how much the wildlife flourish in it. They LOVE it!
I'm just trying to be realistic here. Life/the earth is changing.........for good or bad, its what's happening. I'm trying to not fight it, but find the good in it.