Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beyond Polyester

DGF and I have been fighting off a Southern invader ever since it showed its evil face in the spring. It seems perhaps at last we will prevail--Northern technology once again overcoming sheer cussedness.

Our foe: Poison Ivy. A vine grew up one of the dear maples of Elmwood, so high it nearly disappeared among the branches and new leaves. First, with the hatchet we cut the vine just above shoulder height. Within days the leaves above the cut withered and died. Then, wearing gloves we had bought in a rainbow of colors to protect our hands from Miss Clairol, we applied herbicide. We did not mess around with "organic."

Weekly we painted the leaves, and as the painted ones wilted and curled, new bright greenish yellow baby leaves appeared. But we marched on, and this weekend we found no new poison baby leaves.

Miss Grimke: We can certainly blame global warming for Col. Poison Ivy. Can we also blame BP? For not finding alternative sources, say, forty years ago.

DGF: Of course. But when you get right down to it, we have only ourselves to blame.

Miss Grimke: Perhaps but we can certainly not blame Jimmy Carter.

DGF: He did what he could.

Miss Grimke: Which was not enough.

DGF: We get the leaders we deserve.

Miss Grimke: Do you really believe that?

DGF: Well, look at me.

Miss Grimke: I see you are wearing that petroleum-based fiber, which is great for bushwhacking at Elmwood.

DGF: This is going to be painful on so many levels.