Gardener's Grapevine 2011.08.03

Written by David Green.

A few weeks ago I wrote about wildflowers and how many of them are not seen quite so much anymore due to roadside mowing and spraying, and the loss of fence rows. However, with the down-turn in the economy and the financial issues the State of Michigan faces, the ditches seem to be brimming with wildflowers. Apparently mowing and spraying are low priorities when you are strapped for cash.

For someone who loves nature and all things wild, this is one of the few positives about our world’s economic state—beautiful wildflowers.

We spent the weekend in Allegan on the west side of Michigan. It isn’t long after you drive past Kalamazoo that the area becomes very woodsy and wild. There is sort of a northern Michigan feel, and wow, the wildflowers. 

There is every color and sort imaginable. The clover is in bloom as is chicory, thistle, phlox, ditch lilies and a bunch I couldn’t identify. Sometimes I wish I had my camera with me because a picture would be just the ticket for a watercolor picture, and great for the garden club yearbook.

Has anyone stopped to look at the roadside grasses? I am in no way even knowledgeable about different grasses, however, as you drive across the state the types seem to change. Some of them would look really pretty in an arrangement in a vase. I guess that’s sort of what God has done only without the vase. He has thrown multiple beautiful native flowers together with some grasses and trees to make a beautiful “arrangement.”

Nature is something many take for granted or feel is a nuisance, but driving into town past Emmons’ dairy farm just after the curve this week I saw probably 10 deer running through the corn field. It was such a beautiful sight I had to stop and watch until they got to the river and the cover of trees.

Deer amaze me. Since I live in town they don’t make a nuisance of themselves by eating my gardens, so from my viewpoint they are beautiful creatures I can’t imagine harming. Now I know many hunters and farmers have other ideas, and even I have had one hit me when driving, and I accept that.

Think of what the deer endure in life. All winter they have to seek shelter, look for food when all is harvested or dormant, and when they are in prime mating season, someone tries to kill them. Yet, their population is doing fine, even thriving.

If I could see them in the beautiful wildflowers. My first thought would still be, “Please don’t jump on my car.” Then after we drove by, my thought would be, “Wow, wasn’t that amazing!” It’s all in your viewpoint, I guess.

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