The Ravine


Right next to our driveway is what I call “The Ravine”--It’s a small gorge filled to the brim with what the state calls invasive species—Japanese Knotweed (a sort of bamboo) and wild blackberries (a sort of cobbler-on-the-hoof). Parts of The Ravine are owned by the property owners here, and parts of it are city property…..I think. None of it is actually my problem.

The Ravine also hosts a wide variety of critters, birds, and dead or dying trees. I figure the trees to fall at the worst possible time and hit cars, houses, power lines, or some other necessary thing during a snowstorm this winter.

The critters are legion. Squirrels, raccoons, possums, and rabbits by the tubful. Birds, you ask? Jays, doves, pigeons, the occasional trespassing crow, and small birds of a wide variety. Yes, I feed them. If I don’t, they go after the blueberries.

I hook up Lil (the Terrier) on our little hill where the vegetables and berries are located to keep the critters at bay. She does a fine job, but if I just let her go without a tether, she disappears into The Ravine. And, frankly, she’s the color of dirt thus hard to re-locate.

Last year, one of our neighbors from across The Ravine was notified by some government agency that the Knotweed issue was his problem to solve. He brought over the notification that he had received and the wording was ominous. I believe that he ignored the governmental warnings because the Knotweed is just a big and bold as it ever has been. Frankly, I don’t mind the Knotweed at all. It’s easy on the eye and flowers later in the summer which attracts bees by the thousands.

My understanding is that bees are good, and we should encourage and accommodate them. Euell Gibbons famously declared “parts of this tree are edible” regarding a pine tree, and I think the same could be said about the invasive Knotweed. Some parts are edible. Same goes for the invasive blackberries and the critters.

In the event that the government agencies decide to ravage The Ravine, I’ll miss what it now is.

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