I'm on a quest for total domination. If not of the world, then I dream of at least dominating the miles of thistles that have taken up residence in my yard. Our house sits on two acres of land in the foothills of the Rockies. For all of you urban dwellers, if you own your own home it probably sits on something between an eighth and a quarter of an acre. Do you know how much you hate to mow your reasonably sized lawn? Multiply that hatred by at least sixteen and you can visit me in the third ring of the seventh circle of hell.
For the last couple of months I have been bombarded with warnings about non-native weeds that will take over your yard and choke out other vegetation. Let me preface my description of the War on Thistle by saying I know this is not the American way.
US Customs Officer: "I'm sorry Mr. X, but you look like you are non-native to the United States. We're afraid you may try to strangle significant numbers of our existing citizens. It is imperative that I attack you with this rusty shovel, throw you in my wheelbarrow and cart you off to be burned so that we can ensure that none of your sperm jump out of your lifeless body with the intent of taking over the state of Colorado with your spawn."
Then again, my yard is not a microcosm of US foreign policy, so I don't really care. This non-native thing fascinates me though. Did little Sally Settler decide that those prickly thistle plants were just so beautiful. "I'll just stick one in my petticoats so that I can plant it in my garden when we get to Colorado."
Or was it a bird that did this to me. Tell me this. What bird do you know that can eat in Missouri and not poop until Colorado? The only thing I can figure is there must have been no freshly washed cars on that boring flight across Kansas.
"No target practice today, Marge. Looks like all these humans have been lazy about washing their cars. Can you hold it until Colorado?"
Picture this. My yard is a beautiful field with tall swaying grasses, wildflowers blooming in purples, yellows and pinks, and about 1,003 prickly gangly aliens who look like they're wearing pink fiber optic berets. (Definitely the kind you find in a second-hand store!) Everyday I go out armed with my shovel and rubber gloves. And everyday I ask myself how it is possible that more grew overnight.
And the bees. Oh, they are seriously furious with me. I started in on this huge stand of thistles yesterday on which I counted no less than 18 big freaking bumblebees. As each thistle went down, the bees had less real estate. I had fuzzy drunk bees dive bombing my head in anger. Thank goodness for the drunk part or they may have done a lot more damage to my face.
As warped as it sounds, I sort of feel for the little guys (the bees, not the francophile thistles). They have one joy in life - getting stumbling, can't see straight, speaking drunkenese, three sheets to the wind drunk on nectar. Otherwise what do they do with their lives? They sit around waiting to sting some crazy person like me who is failing her arms, yelling at the top of her lungs and contorting her body into hideous pretzels to avoid contact. And when they do finally sting someone, the very end of their butt falls off and they die within the day. Hmmm. No wonder they spend their days drunk. I'd be pretty mad too if someone took away nature's liquor cabinet.
So the next time you're bemoaning the fact that you have too much yardwork, think of me. I'm losing the battles and the war. In fact, I'm so desperate, I'm thinking of buying a goat.