Since the last Monastic Immersion Weekend, we’ve been enjoying volunteer help clearing the growth around the native hardwoods and bushes planted along our streams. I myself have been going out about three times a week–I’m now up to ninety minute work periods–to clear the growth. The cooler temperatures are a real help and I can enjoy being outside and seeing what is growing and how local plants grow. To see the steady flow of clean stream water and the rich growth in the wetland landscape, now free of cattle is a wonderful example of the healing possible in nature. Also, the more I work, the more my stamina improves.
It’s also a good opportunity to thrash the invasive species, like Sweet Annie or Japanese hops. The invasive plants, which came to this country in the soil of imported exotics, cannot support the life of native insects, pollenators or birds; as a result these plants are not a food source nor are larvae laid there to fed upon the plants. They grow unhindered and, without competition, take over, supporting no local life. The native plants are over-run; this is why butterflies, moths and other necessary species move away and, eventually, die out. Even after a hundred years on our soil, this invasive growth attracts none of our insects or birds. So what we are doing not only allows the young trees a good chance to set roots and have space to grow, but also gives bio-diversity a boost.
We still have a lot to do, even if progress is already noticeable. Anyone inspired to give a hand, just contact me through the comment box below.