|Goodnight Mindego Hill. Goodnight land of San Francisco gartersnakes.|
Goodnight slowly diminishing hillsides of purple starthistle.
Weeding can be hard and weeds can be depressing. We need a coping mechanism. Every few days, I make sure to weed where I can watch the sun set. Recently while admiring a tangerine-blasted horizon, I found myself singing while tossing thistles into an overflowing wheelbarrow. From whence comes such joy? Weeding at sunset is like a prayer.
| Hairy weevil (Eustenopus villosus), a biocontrol insect, laying eggs on the flower bud|
of a recently bolted yellow starthistle plant.
My own version of the song was "May the Lord protect and defend you. May he always keep you from pain. May you come to be in paradise a shining name." Every time, these words helped me get through the next few minutes until I could breathe again.
If I was to give advice now to my younger self then, I would say, "You will be okay. Start by doing little things that you are good at. Go back and do them again and again, and when you are ready, do a little more and go a little farther." I also might say, "Grab the little one and get the heck out of there! Run away now as fast as you can and never go back."
These days, I feel either way about weeds - panic or patience - depending on the day. These days, I'm grateful that weeds are my biggest problem.
|A mountain lion showed up on the wildlife camera at the red-legged frog pond in late January.|
Although it appears to be dancing, it probably just jumped over the brush pile.
|Ripening seed on a healthy stand of purple needle grass (Stipa pulchra).|
|When mowing with large equipment like this Billy Goat mower, I keep the snake tongs on board to be able to quickly move small animals out of the way.|
|First fawn of the year leaping to keep up with the doe.|
|Pods forming on bicolor lupine (Lupinus bicolor) in the upper pastures.|
|False babystars (Leptosiphon androsaceus) showing its small, cheery face|
where once there was just yellow starthistle.