It was a pretty and interesting morning in Kimball. Pardon the sailor talk. Bad habit. Well, a habit anyway...
And here's part of what yesterday looked and sounded like...
Too much babble in this one, not enough good info. I wouldn't watch it...
So the war on thistle. There are three kinds of thistle needing control. Canada thistle, scotch thistle, and musk thistle. All three are invasive and prolific. They are foreign, non-native plants and therefore don't run afoul of the control mechanisms nature has in place here to keep native plants in balanced homeostasis. Because they aren't bothered by nature's control techniques they tend to run rampant and can spread wildly, completely disrupting the ecosystem and throwing everything out of balance, including our efforts to work with nature to harvest grass with cattle and thereby generate income.
Fortunately for us, there are certain things we blighted ape-lizards can do to keep the invaders in check. It takes time, effort, and money, but that's just part of the deal, something you have to do if you choose to walk this ranching path in this part of the world.
What it comes down to is mechanical control to prevent seed development -- mowing and/or digging.
It also requires chemical control through proper and timely herbicide application.
|Bachelors always mix herbicide in the kitchen.|
In 2019 when my Dad was dying I didn't get any mechanical control done, and I did no spraying. This was following a year in which I did mechanical and some spraying. So the thistle won in 2019, and I had a hell of a lot of digging to do in 2020.
And I did a lot of digging and mowing, but not as much as was required. I missed a lot in the south googie pasture. In my defense I was falling in love and my mind wasn't right. Then things went terribly wrong and my mind went even further south.
So now the thistle seed bank has been enriched in the south googie pasture and it'll take some additional digging and spraying next year. But that's okay, it's nowhere near out of control.
Today, or at least in the very near future, I need to finish treating invasive thistle infestations with herbicide. Specifically with Milestone.
Daily dose of kid cuteness. Playdough with Uncle Drew!
From the batshit crazy file -- At the funeral home I was offered the opportunity to have a lock of Allie's hair. I wanted nothing to do with such a thing. I can't say why, it just felt wrong somehow.
She had such beautiful hair.
One evening she wanted me to trim her locks by a few inches. She insisted, really, but also made it clear that I couldn't mess it up. I had to be precise. So after she showered she handed me a pair of high-dollar scissors and told me to get it done and done correctly. I was shakin' like a dog shittin' peach pits. She made me take before and after pictures so she'd know whether to kill me or not. I survived, and got thoroughly, smilingly, and lovingly hugged. What a great memory.
Over the last several weeks, however, as I've been washing her clothes, I continue to come across strands of her hair. These I've collected and I plan to keep them. Crazy? No, batshit crazy.
|Sweater lint included|
|Sweaters capture a lot of hair|
What's the difference? I don't know for sure, but it feels like this -- the hairs I've been finding in her clothes were from a living Allie. The offered lock of hair was not. Does that make any sense?
Well, try this on for size. I also have and plan to keep some of her ashes. Those came from a dead Allie. What's the difference? I don't know. I also don't know if I'll actually keep them for long. I think they belong in a place she loved and understood far better than anyone except possibly me. We'll see.
It seems as if enduring this loss isn't a very rational process.
Something happened in the night. I got the best sleep I've had since August 10. Real sleep. I awoke feeling refreshed. I also awoke being somehow more okay. I can't describe the feeling very well, just a sense that I'm going to be alright. My first conscious thought on waking was of my Alexzandra and the cold fact of her death. But for the first time that thought was wrapped in the feeling of love and okayness. That's as close as I can come. Yesterday morning, and all the mornings since she died, there was really only a sense of profound loss when I woke. Also a profound lack of interest in going on without her physical presence in my world. Meh. This morning the bedroom was filled with Allie's presence; the very air was thick with her presence. With her soothing presence. With the palpable touch of her presence. She was truly making it okay. Perhaps I'm finally listening to her rather than to myself. Whatever, I feel enough better to be grateful for the betterness and to look at the day ahead with hope and even a tiny quantity of zest.
Thank you Sweetheart. I love you. I love all of you, always and forever.
On to thistle destruction!
But it was too windy to spray. So I went on a hike. Maybe tomorrow the spray gods will smile on me. That's what the forecast looks like.
These canyons are endlessly fascinating.
A touch of regret.
Pretty autumn flower. Machaerantherinae I believe. One of the fall-blooming asters.
And with no spraying to be done I received a surprisingly timely email from a reader, pointing me toward a possible treatment for canada thistle. Can a Nebraska Rancher sign up? Sorry, no. Coloradans only, which makes sense. Also, we have to legalize weed first (sorry, I thought that was funny). So, does Nebraska have a similar program? Doesn't look like it, but I haven't checked everything and everywhere. We'll see.
And now it's time to get sweaters off the clothesline.
Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.