Saturday, November 18, 2006
Most of the leaves are gone from the trees now ... the meadow fades to gold, bronze, brown, shades of beige ... colors of the season 'til warm sun and spring rain bring the grasses alive and the world turns green once again. The wood across the river displays lines of trunks and branches. Mounds of mountain laurel remain green through the cold and at night a few lights from several houses across the water whisper that others live here too.
I've called friend Phil and he'll come with his tractor sometime in the next weeks to mow the meadow down. I have this done every fall to keep the blackberries, honeysuckle, kudzu and oriental bittersweet at bay. I may have it cut again in the spring after the first flush of growth and I determine that these highly invasive species are getting out of "control." I hate doing it but I want to keep some space open for native grasses and wild flowers that would be gone if I let the others take over.
When we first moved here almost 6 years ago, the meadow was a "lawn" of weeds, cut weekly. We have let it grow except for the paths and the annual cutting. The varieties of wild flowers has increased and so have the blackberries which attract a multitude of birds and small mammals to feast throughout the summer.
I try to keep the meadow looking tidy and to provide some habitat for the local population of wild creatures. The growth also keeps silt from running off into the river from this piece of land. But I also fool myself ... I can't, don't control much here. The bittersweet I spotted growing down on the river bank wasn't there last year ... this is the first I've seen of it in that location and it was most likely carried there by a gentle song bird ... perhaps a cardinal or the mockingbird that lives in the cedar tree down by my mother's door. The river continues to silt in and change from day to day ... the birds come and go with the seasons.
For now I enjoy the fading meadow, notice the bent grasses where the deer sleep at night and look forward to the first snow fall that will render what I see out my window an entirely different landscape.