Right after that big drought Texas experienced, when it started raining again, our backyard went wild, and we couldn’t keep up. The last thing I did back there was chop down the entire yard of Begger’s Lice, bag it up, and have it hauled off with the trash. Then, we decided to wait and see what happened. Would this small patch of earth return to a native state if untended and ignored, and what would that natural, wild state look like? Today was the first day in all that time I ventured further than the back door.
Up by the house, we are still having Begger’s Lice problems, but beyond that? Lush. Natural. Native. My footsteps padded by damp leaves and thick growth of Horse Herb. Each step produced the scent of rich dark earth and green life growing. New trees have sprung up organically, naturally. A variety of bushes, some I can’t identify, have taken root. As I followed a path created by the soft steps of countless cats, for a moment, the city fell silent, and I was in the wild outback of Texas on a wet December day with birds chirping and the last leaves of fall quietly murmuring in the gentle rain.
I am awestruck by what nature can create when left to its own devices, or more importantly, when we stop fighting against it in our attempts to make it behave as we would like. This grand experiment of ours is not yet done, but I pleased with its progress. More than pleased. I am delighted. And nature’s gift to us for allowing her free reign over her dominion was a harvest of unexpected pomegranates, symbols of creation, fertility, and future rebirth.
Since the newest ground cover addition to my front yard finally bloomed and the bees are all over it, I thought I'd try to get a macro shot of a bee. This is a task that seems to require the patience of a saint. It's also helpful if you aren't freaked out about a hundred bees buzzing around you and landing on you. I was a little freaked out. I've never been stung by a bee, and considering the high number of other things in nature I am excessively allergic to, I'm occasionally terrified that bees may be the thing that kills me.
Hey, it could happen!
Anyway, I gave it a try for as long as I could stand it and only successfully got one shot that actually contained a bee. Well, part of a bee anyway. A bee butt! Not my most outstanding work, but considering the difficulty factor (man, bees move fast), I'm posting it anyway. LOL!
My front yard isn't to everyone's taste, but I'm pretty tickled with how the “go natural and native” experiment is moving along. Thanks to us actually getting rain this year, the horseherb and popping petunias have covered about half the space and begun making inroads into the other half. The last remaining carpet grass under the pecan tree is looking good (though I do wish it would go away), and then there's the nice patch of sunflowers and that feathery unidentified plant up front. The buffalo grass is trying, but it's slow to spread and never seems happy.
And I transplanted the unhappy cramped tomatoes who are now not cramped but even more unhappy about being moved. Hopefully, they'll perk up overnight. The two lemon cucumbers are reaching out to climb, so I gave them something to grab, the basil has been thinned because it's become a weed, and the two squash plants look puny but have buds on them. Maybe I get some veggies, maybe I don't. Either way, it's been something fun and relaxing to do.
And there in the middle of the yard in between my planters where the dead redbud is … you see that taller-than-everything-else batch of bright green leaves? A new redbud. Or the old redbud having another try at living. I'm pretty happy about that, but whatever killed the old one will probably kill this one too, so I'm not getting too attached to the idea. It'd be really awesome to continue to have a redbud in that specific location.
Nestled in the box of fresh veggies and dairy products Greenling delivered today was a new rosemary plant! My other one is almost two years old and still doing well, and now I'll have two! This one is a different type, and I'm sort of excited to see what difference in flavor there will be. I love rosemary.
My spearmint plant, which is also almost two years old, isn't doing so well. In fact, I think it may be dead. Of course, I think I say that every year at this stage of winter and then it comes back to life when spring rolls around. Guess we'll just have to wait and see if that happens again his year! My tiny sage plant is still existing and is still tiny, and the Mexican oregano plant that I hate is also struggling along. I should probably kill both of them and out them out of their misery.
I wish spring would hurry and get here. I'm ready for green things growing and playing in the dirt again. I think I'll do a garden this year. A small one. The super-sized one really burnt me out on gardening. It's taken a long time for me to feel like doing it again.