Sunday, February 8, 2015
Speaking of trains
Most of the brush between us and the tracks is speckled alder, a species that is remarkably adept at springing back from brush cutting. It's a pioneering species -- up here on the tundra it moves into abandoned farm fields with remarkable speed. When it comes to reproducing, speckled alder covers all the bases: it has both male and female flowers on the same plant so it can self-pollinate; the seeds are lightweight and spread easily; it will send up suckers from its roots; and it will root opportunistically if a branch touches the ground. It's actually a great plant for the environment -- it is a nitrogen producer so it enriches the soil -- but it can drive you mildly crazy when you try to keep it cut back.
For some reason, I'm having visions of the grandsons being handed weed whips and brush hooks every time they come to visit for the next few years. Either that or we need to start renting goats.