Since wholesale herbicide assaults upon the land are no longer used at Spirit Creek, and because I do not own a real tractor with a big mowing deck, keeping the vegetation under control, especially the honey locust trees, is a big problem. These determined trees have gone forth and multiplied upon the land! In a remarkably short time they have formed a nuisance thicket between my east window and the horizon. The view of the morning sky I dearly value. The troublesome trees blocking the sunrise I do not value.
The trees are formidable survivors. Cut one down, five more spring from the roots. They have been easily winning the war over my feeble attempts to repel their invasion. I needed an environmentally safe and ultimate weapon to combat this aggressive encroachment. Enter Sgt. R. Clark of the United States Army, combat veteran of the Iraq war. In less than six hours he has cleared the view almost all the way to the fence around Ginger's pasture. Those trees do not stand a chance against the US Army.
Sgt. Clark and my daughter have felled trees, moved big limestone rocks, piled brush, and removed fencing. Rotting railroad ties have been pried from the ground and single-handedly heaved across Sgt. Clark's shoulder and carried to the truck. The two of them have been attacked by ticks and chiggers and bravely faced down poison ivy. All three of us have sweat and cussed in the steaming humidity of what passes for spring these days in Kansas.
My daughter is the first casualty to chiggers. The insect repellent was not applied liberally enough to her new boots so she is suffering. Chiggers are quite generous with their torment. It is warm weather protocol for a new can of Cutters insect repellent to be left on the front porch so it is available for anyone whether I am home or not.
This week it is the honey locust trees. Next week it is the cedar trees. Thanks to my own personal Army corp of engineers, the scenery at Spirit Creek Farm is improving.