Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – It’s A Jungle Out There

My life in appalachia it's a jungle out there

Late summer days make me long for the first heavy frost. Not because I’m hot-but because I want all the green to be pushed back. By mid August I feel smothered by the overgrown bushes, trees, flowers, vegetables, and WEEDS. By mid August I’m so tired of working in the garden- so tired of putting up food- that I want Old Man Winter to come around with his frosty breath and do the work of pushing the green jungle that has sprung up around my house back for me.

Even though I don’t enjoy Appalachia’s landscape of late summer as much as I do other seasons, there is something magical and haunting about it.

I look at overgrown fields; at the chest high bushes and brambles along the edge of the woods and I wonder what hides within. I tell myself surely rabbits, birds, and maybe a groundhog or two hide in the weeds which reach higher than my extended arms; yet my imagination tells me other things hide there as well.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Hi Tipper,
    By this time I always look forward to the cooler days of fall. However, if you had not had such a wet spring and summer, you would not have the lush growth. It is a mixed bag, isn’t it? I look forward to temps that are lower than 95 and humidity about 20%!
    According to the fogs in August, we are in for a bad winter!!

  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I had been away from my home for a few weeks, and the weeds really took over the landscaping. The amount of rain just kept everything growing, the biggest spurts I have ever seen. I still have a lot of trimming to finish before Fall arrives. However, the critters have had their share of good eats, especially the flowers. I’m with you on this one.

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    August 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I’m ready for it to frost too. I love Fall and Spring. I like Summer and even Winter but I’m usually glad to see both of them go when it gets time. 🙂

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    August 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Tipper, like you, I will be glad when all the bean, corn, tomatoes etc. is over. Everything was so good out of the garden. My flowers gardens look awful and grown up like a jungle.
    I’m like b. Ruth about the power company. On the mountain roads where they put new lines in they cut such a wide cut and then come back and kill all the vegetation with brush killer and nothing grows back, this causes the roads all slide off till it is just a one-way road and is very dangerous to drive because you can’t pass anyone, the slides are down to the next level of the road. The ditches are washed out so deep that if you get in it you will tear your truck or car bottom out. These are gravel roads. This poison run-off gets into the branches and creeks and kills the honey- bees where they get their water. Our bees have really died off since they started this. Not good.
    Peggy L.

  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Oh me! The little girl with the big
    heart and a whole lot of imagination. I got those giant
    ragweeds so thick at the end of my yard I can’t even see the creek.
    When my youngest granddaughter was
    about 3, I took her tiny little hand
    and led her through the cornfield.
    It was easy walking cause I weed-
    eated the day before. But I could
    feel her fear, not being able to
    see very far, wondering what kind
    of boogers might be lurking. But
    when we came out the far side, she
    saw her daddy, squatted down with
    open arms. After taking that big
    breath she admitted it was fun.

  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    As long as the brush is green, I love it – otherwise I’m worried about the fire danger.
    Maybe b.ruth could suggest to the power company that they tie a goat to each pole. If there’s a “painter” around you might be left with just a rope; otherwise, the power company could make money on goat’s milk, goat’s milk cheese, cajeta (a caramel made with goats milk) and cabrito (open fire roasted kid/young goat) and lower your power bills!!

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    August 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I’m with you Tipper. I want it to be gone too, and this summer is no exception. Fall is my favorite season.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 31, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Tipper, and
    Quin…you are right about the goats…we have gone that route.
    However, they don’t know the difference between scarce wildflowers and weeds..eventhough weeds are wildflowers too, just in a different location…LOL

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 31, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Careful what you wish for! There is a difference between a light pumpkin frost and a old man winter frost.. I just sortof like easing into Fall. A few cold snaps, a morning chill, a scattered frost in October and heavier in November. A Hoar frost in December with all the twigs and dead weedy things covered in a fantasy land of shimmering frost.
    I got a taste of winter a couple of weeks ago. I went down the driveway, (to which no one is supposed to be on due to the gate that states no trespassing), low and behold there were a long line of dead and dying vegatation. It just made me sick. The electric company had followed the power lines spraying poison under them.
    I was watching my little tiny dogwoods that had sprouted and they had no business spraying and killing my wildflowers near one of the poles. As there was no scrub trees growing at all that would grow the thirty feet into the lines..I think it was some worker that just needed to empty the poison can. This happened in several places. I love my green forest and I think they should ask before spraying on private property lines or no lines. I certainly understand the tree falling in winter problem, I don’t like to be out of power either. But, this was too much…Pun not intended…too much of overkill!…Let me get down off my soapbox…I love green, it is the color of hope and fresh life…Even though there are lions, tigers and bears…Sasquatches, giant owls, and ghosts of the past in there.
    I love my vegetation!
    Thanks Tipper,
    Did you see the deer that I posted on facebook that the cougar had brought down and was carrying off on the night cam in Kentucky…Sure there ain’t no painters around here, Of course there is too many deer for predators to feed on nowadays…
    I just don’t want to see a black panther which are supposed to be extinct. My Indian friend swears she saw one…????

  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Me too! I call it the wall of green. I want to see past all the trees obstructing the view and see the mountain ridges again.
    I love all seasons but Fall and Winter are my favorite times.

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    August 31, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I feel your thoughts! The under brush is suffering here. We need rain so bad. I’ve been watering the garden about every other day. Not to keep the tomatoes alive, but we have fall garden coming up. Lettuce, radishes, green beans and spinach.
    Our purple beans are doing good, they were just late at producing. I’ve canned off of them 3 times now and will probably get another batch today or tomorrow (when ever I feel the energy to go pick)
    Have a great 3 day weekend!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    August 31, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Well Tipper, I have the solution to those rows of hedge that grow too quickly during our rainy season. Just get some electric clippers and a LONG extension cord and go at it. It makes me feel so ‘in control’ when I haul all those clippings to the woods. Of course I pity the person who will ‘someday’ have to clean up from my packing so many clippings into the edge of our forest! But the aggravating deer find the clippings as a fine resting place. GUESS I WILL JUST KEEP ON CLIPPING!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 10:07 am

    One word:

  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 9:59 am

    So true. This has been an overwhelming time this summer. Weeds have become trees, and my counter is lined with canned pasta sauce and green beans with all sorts of garden bounty waiting to be managed. I can’t seem to stay ahead of it. I have said I would not plant next year. We will see! Something takes over when those garden catalogs roll in and onion sets show up at the local grocery. I become like a child in a candy store. Winter does offer a break, and we are fortunate with four seasons.

  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Me too.

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    August 31, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Tipper, I sure do not look forward to winter anymore, I used to not mind it but anymore I get colder than I used to plus I miss the heat from my outdoor wood furnace since I can’t stand to cut all that wood that I would need, but it was such an even heat that air felt warmer, these unvented gas heaters just don’t do the job.

  • Reply
    steve in tn
    August 31, 2013 at 8:51 am

    i agree. i have been working on my obession with harvest. if a ripe tomato falls from the vine i guess it is natures plan and is not really wasted…but it is a challenge. i need a frost so i can quit picking.

  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 8:09 am

    I look at the thick vegetation and trees on my property and wonder the same thing. On the brightest sunny day it’s still so dark in there. The lack of light seems to help create that haunting atmosphere you speak of. The sounds I hear coming from the woods and field confirms the presence of the unseen as my imagination runs wild.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 31, 2013 at 7:32 am

    I guess you feel like you are in the tropics by then.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 31, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Yes, Tipper, by this time of year I am ready for a change too. We are so fortunate to have four distinct seasons, with none lasting too long. Don’t like it, don’t want it, or tired of it, don’t worry, it’ll be gone soon.
    I think we live in the best place in the world, right here in Western North Carolina!

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