today was a chicken maintenance day. that means that i cleaned the coop, but also that i let the new flock out for the first official face-to-face meet and greet with lacy and madge.

similar to making a kid’s birthday party and providing really good treats to smooth the path to happy interactions, i sprinkled liberal amounts of mealworms and cracked corn all over the place in hopes that they would mix and mingle. even though in the last few days we’ve had some incidents with puffing up neck feathers and posturing, all went well on our chicken social.


currently the girls are outside getting some sun and scratching around and just generally being chicken-y. ruby promptly laid an egg (our first white egg layer!), and we are hoping the others will soon follow. i am hoping they will be amenable to all bedding down together tonight, so we’ll see how that goes when it gets dark…

as i was supervising their interaction, however (can you say helicopter mom???), i noticed a super prickly vine-type-thing that sort of snakes across the ground where they were running around. not wanting them to hurt their sweet little chicken tootsies, i went and got some garden snippers.

and that’s when the war broke out.

because i don’t know what kind of sick twisted freak-of-nature species this thorn-endowed thing was, but it was everywhere. the roots went underground for literally feet. the branches went up into other plants. they wound through fences. they choked the life out of each other. they grabbed my coat and my scarf and they made my hands into rivulets of blood. and they didn’t stop. just when i thought i had reached the end of the crop, i would find another clump.

this was like a horror show, but for real.

this was like the stuff you watch a show about- in fact, the stuff i would watch a show about, and then blog about: hey, i just watched this totally creepy documentary about this killer plant that tries to take over the world by making anything it comes in contact with bleed to death! for real!

so i spent an inordinate amount of time outside in this jungle that should have been, by all rights, somewhere far far away where it had to fight for survival against really harsh odds- not sitting on the side of my house next to my peaceful bamboo.

first we had the dire warnings about morning glory- which apparently if you are someone who is “in the know” about plants ( i am clearly not) you are virulently against and it makes you want to- and i am totally serious here- jump out of your seat and run outside and RIP IT OUT RIGHT NOW!!!! (i had several friends get visibly agitated when they looked out of my window and saw morning glory in one spot or another in my yard. they went from calm and serene to full-on banshee mode in a nano-second. it was somewhat alarming. but i think that plant people get it…). so, morning glory is the enemy of all things living, but i am told you can buy seeds for it in stores here. i am also told that it will kill everything in its path and that there is basically no way to stop it. once it makes an appearance you just have to eternally rip it out forever and ever and keep it at bay. i kind of thought maybe we could let the morning glory choke all of our bushes and then we could just torch all of the morning glory and then start over from scratch and plant vegetables and maybe a few fruit trees- but people were horrified when i suggested this, so i guess it’s not such a great idea…

but now, the plague of the thorny madness has reared its frightening head, and i’m wondering what it is about seattle that engenders these monster plants? seattle is this totally laid-back chill-vibey place- so why does the foliage bulk up on steroids and want to wipe us out? it’s like the more mellow the people are, the more scary the plant-life is.

why is it that plants we want don’t grow cojones and spread like wildfire? ‘cuz i could get on board with going outside one day and finding, say, a field of strawberries that wouldn’t die. or a really healthy vigorous cherry tree.

it’s lucky that i have joel salatin’s voice in my head talking about the importance of healthy soil, or i would have seriously considered pouring something very very toxic onto the roots of those thorny behemoths.

ok, who are we kidding? i did seriously consider pouring something very toxic onto those roots- you know those stumps that are left in the ground? the ones that you can’t pull up, and can’t dig up? the ones that you know are gonna sprout the same darn plant you just spent however long trying to gouge out of the ground? well, i will confess that gasoline seemed awfully tempting as a cure-for-what-ailed me at that particular moment…

but, i didn’t get down and dirty. i just sat there and bled and channeled my inner phil/pheel.

and then i chopped up all of those pointy pokey horrible thorny things so they would fit in my seattle-approved yard waste container and i took my defeated-yet-not-defeated self into the house to blog.

cheap therapy.

thanks for listening.

and by the way- do you have any idea how to get rid of these plants??????????????