Sunday, February 8, 2015

Speaking of trains

The S.O. has decided it would be nice to be able to see trains from the house again. He's decided one of his summer projects in 2015 will be creating an opening through the overgrown cow pasture that will allow us to see the CN freight trains from our living room. Of course, once that opening is created, he's going to have to keep hacking at it with the brush blade on our gas-powered weed eater. The photo shows what the prospective opening looks like now.

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.

1 comment:

  1. The reason there is so much tag alder is the cows ate the grass, exposed the dirt and gave the seeds the perfect place to start.


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