Hard to Stop Nature from Taking Over

orange flower with orange bug on it

This summer seems to have been busier than usual for the Blind Pig Family. Our schedule was jam packed with things to do and places to be.

Living in the temperate rain forest of southern Appalachia is wonderful. The trees and plants will amaze and delight all your senses…and if you keep your back turned too long, they’ll completely take over.

I haven’t a doubt that the woods would completely engulf our yard and house in just a few years if we didn’t continuously beat back the onslaught that happens every summer.

I love all the seasons equally.

By the time summer ends I’m ready for brisk fall days with dazzling blue skies.

By the time fall is winding up I’m ready for bitter cold days where all you want to do is sit by the wood stove and hope for snow.

By the time winter is giving way to spring I anxiously await the green as it creeps up and down the mountains.

By the time spring is in full swing I long to feel the hot summer sun beating down on my face and arms.

But this time of the year, the end of summer, is my least favorite time of the year. The rusty green tinge to everything seems depressing and the overgrowth of summer makes me wish I had a magic wand to banish it all back to where it came from. Lucky for me old man winter will soon do exactly that as he sweeps down from the north bringing fall and winter with him.


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  • Reply
    September 14, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Some plants I could do without taking over, for sure! I found a huge burdock plant covered with “stickers” yesterday, and I’m going to have to tackle it right away before those seeds get everywhere. To make matters worse, while I carefully walked around the burdock to get an idea of the size (wish my arms were longer!) I spotted a couple of huge thistles down in the pocket paddock which I didn’t put the goats in at all this summer because the biting bugs were thick as a cloud there. My Occasional Helper won’t be around for a couple of weeks at least, so I’ll have to put on something with sleeves and get out there with pruner shears and a few feed sacks to stuff all the branches in. Ugh. Last time I took a thistle down, I had to limb it like a tree! The job took about an hour, I got scratched up badly despite being careful, and the “trunk” was nearly the size of my wrist!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Enjoyed reading all everyone shared tonight, especially what Tipper so eloquently described about all the seasons, sure can relate. Here in Western Ky, it’s been a hot humid week, I can hardly believe that on the calender it says the first day of fall is supposed to be the 23rd of this month….I’m still enjoying the green lushness of summer still lingering even though it’s showing changes toward fall….. seems like yesterday winter was hanging on and I so wanted to see something green . Thankful I can know and experience all 4 seasons. Plus I hope we get lots of snow this season…big snow, ….and I’m already dreaming about Thanksgiving Morning,

  • Reply
    September 13, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    I am ready for cooler weather. Yesterday’s high of 98 tied the record set in 1921 in Richmond, Virginia. I am ready for cooler weather. We really need some rain. It is misting here today, so I guess any little bit is better than nothing. About 20 years ago, hunting season was almost canceled because of a drought, but we got rain just in time to save it.

  • Reply
    September 13, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Well said. I could not have described the 4 seasons better. I always loved the way Spring and Summer hid the carelessness of those who threw their trash out the window from their cars. It is the good part of nature. Not so good that an overlooked twig in your fence line becomes an unmanageable tree in 2-3 years. I love the way the men in my family carry a pocket knife which they will quietly take out to cut a meandering twig. I love all about Appalachia, but sometimes there is a sadness in Fall. It is, however, a welcome rest from the heat, and later maybe a chance to clear the weeds without upsetting a copperhead.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 13, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    The folks up in Benham’s Holler was all imports, most were from Florida, but some were from up North, where the Benhams come from. They were all good folks and Daddy worked for most of them. That kept him from going off somewhere for a job. Daddy was like Matt, he could do about anything, the smartest person I’ve ever known. Mama was just mesmerized about him and he stayed close to home, to take care of his Family.

    Ednaraye got her name by combining the names of her mama (Edna) and daddy (Ray). Kitty Fagon was about the prettiest thing I ever saw, but she was much older, closer to John’s age. He didn”t use any bad language, but me and Harold would say anything we thought of. The girls were from Florida, but they learned real fast, and they blended in with us boys real good. They liked our family, but I would like to have been a fly on the wall, and heard what they said when they got back home to their friends. …Ken

  • Reply
    September 13, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Tipper, I would ask you if there were phrases or words that the families/children didn’t say in polite society or in front of their mother? I ask because in reading todays comments I came across a phrase that my mother would very much object to and if I used I could expect a “sit down” lesson from her.
    Yes, there were things heard by children, but it didn’t take long and you knew better than to use the word or phrase in front of Mom.
    What would be an expression used in the family, but not used outside the home or used among your friends but not in front of Mom or Dad? Just wondering as when I read the phrase today I cringed.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    September 13, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    I know what you mean by nature taking over. I didn’t plant the lower part of my garden, and I tried to keep the weeds down, but it was impossible to do that and take care of my garden too. I would usually try to get down the tallest and biggest weeds then work in my vegetables. Today, in spite of my work, the weeds are all taller than my head and some look like small trees. The teenager who mows my yard routinely skipped the hard to mow patches near the shed and chicken house. In a few weeks it looked like the Amazon rain forest even though in May my son-in-law brought his weed-eater to my house and cut everything down. Now with the lack of rain it is beginning to look a little scraggly. I look forward to a hard frost.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    September 13, 2019 at 10:40 am

    It was in the high nineties here yesterday! I feel like we’re caught in the Twilight Zone and it’s never going to be Fall. My lettuce & greens are up but having to be watered. I just broadcast them and I think every seed sprouted!
    I found some old packages of kale, spinach & another type of greens & scattered those seeds in the patch, too.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 13, 2019 at 10:14 am

    I don’t think we had any Snow that laid last year. When I was little, we got plenty of Snow at Topton. I ain’t got no brothers any more to go up to Benham’s and borrow their Sleigh, so we could have some Fun times. Ednaraye Williams and Kitty Fagon would come over and ride with us.

    We had a long driveway and the ride took awhile, if could avoid hitting the house, cause we packed the Snow. It was slicker than Snot on a Doorknob. Our trail started above the June Apple Tree and went thru the yard, we’d leave some bodies in the first curve that fell off. It looked like pancakes stacked cause we’d lay down on the sled, so we could have our hands free for steering. The further we went, the faster until you got to the Railroad and stopped. …Ken

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      September 13, 2019 at 6:18 pm

      We got 16 inches of snow on the 9th of Dec last year. This is the view from my front window
      Come up and see me this winter. I’m always home.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    September 13, 2019 at 9:26 am

    After all that rain earlier in the year we our in a moderate drought. Our real feel today is above 100 degrees. If this continues they might close the hunting seasons like they have done in yrs. past.
    I knew a man who took a trip this time of year on the Blue Ridge Parkway and just off the side of the road he found the awfulest patch of ginseng he had ever seen. He drove on with intentions of coming back and digging it. He didn’t need the cash. He was just a money grubber. He drove back the same way looking for the sang. Anyone who has drove the Parkway knows that many places look alike. Well he didn’t find it again. I told him if he had dug the samg and got caught he may have ended up in jail or at the least payed a big fine. The big fine would have really hurt his feelings.

  • Reply
    September 13, 2019 at 9:10 am

    My friend came to visit last week and asked me if I was giving up on my flowers in hanging baskets. I told her I had watered my plants daily and they can not live forever, especially in record breaking heat and an official drought. Our average first frost is October 10th. It’s hard to imagine a frost in a few weeks when our current daily temperature has been hovering around 100 degrees.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    September 13, 2019 at 8:47 am

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 13, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Nature will overtake us if we slow down too much. The birds help out a lot. Around here they seed the fence rows and yard with hackberry, cedar, sumac and privet. I think sometimes about all the labor it used to take to clear fields. Then over time most of them became marginal and were allowed to go back to nature and become a forest again.

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    September 13, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Not my favorite either, especially this year with all tha heat. I look forward to cooler weather, pretty leaves, and getting outside more.

  • Reply
    September 13, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Fortunately we got some rain the other day, 2 or 3 years ago someone threw out a cigarette and might near burned the whole place down, a nice gentleman came to our door and said ” did you know your place is on fire” I looked out and the fire was in the trees the lot beside us was ablaze, I helped get our Daughter loaded into the van and my Wife carried her over to her Mom and Dad’s across the 4 lane while I stayed with my garden hose and kept the yard on that side hosed down, the fire dept. showed up with their brush truck and quickly put out the field, the woods were still burning but under control they just watched it and it finally put it’s self out. A whole lot of rambling to get to a point, this time of year if it’s dry worries me just because of fire and irresponsible folks who throw out their cigarettes not thinking or not carrying.

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