Today was a weed pulling day. I spent 3 hours pulling out every thistle and spotted knapweed I could find. Luckily it had rained 2 days ago, and the soil was still moist so the roots would yield. But it still the larger plants required considerable force. These plants are almost as tall as I am, and I need to wrap them several times around my gloved hand and pull with the full force of my weight with both hands. Sweat is pouring down my face and I can feel the prickles from the plants through the cowhide. Several times i need to rest and drink water. I hope these efforts will result in my neighbors allowing my property to grow trees and not be mowed.
But there is compensation for my efforts. There are bumble bees buzzing on the clovers and birds chirping in the trees of my neighbors. There are hundreds of small trees growing in the grasses, mostly Manitoba maples, but there are oaks...at least 5 and some other trees or shrubs. Some of my apple trees have made it as well as the alders. But the most wonderful thing of all was seeing frogs jump as I walked. Frogs are an indicator of ecological wellness. Their thin skins absorb toxins and they often are the first to disappear when water has been polluted. Their presence on my property gave me joy. I feel it is a sign from our creator that my efforts are not in vain. That there is great hope
Manitoba is where I was born and where I have spent most of the five and one half decades of my life. I lived on the outskirts of the town of Portage La Prairie at a time when tadpoles and frogs inhabited the ditches and ponds, when there were many Monarch butterflies each summer along with dragon flies and grasshoppers. Redwing blackbirds perched the cattails of the ditches. As children we picked dandelions for bouquets and made wishes before blowing dandelion seed heads. We searched clover for lucky four leaves and rolled on the grass…there was no concern of poisonous herbicides. The grass was thick. Wherever we dug…there were earthworms