The Ghost of a Garden Visitor

by Cynthia

Today my oldest son was out helping me remove some seriously invasive Scotch Broom from the very back area of our yard. There is a whole wall of them at the back end of the property and since moving in here I have been debating whether or not we should remove them. They have been acting as a living fence and the birds love to seek shelter in them. Plus the flowers that cover the Scotch Broom in May are pretty; a brilliant yellow. That is about where their positive attributes end though. Scotch Broom is very invasive and considered a noxious weed here in Oregon. You can read more about it by following this link.

A close up of Scotch Broom in bloom in my back yard May 2008.

I decided it was time to take them out and next year I will plant some shrubs and other sorts of plants in their place that the birds will find even more attractive. Unfortunately this is not proving to be an easy decision thanks to how established they are along with our very hard and rocky soil. My 14 year old son volunteered to take them out with the pickaxe and I took him up on it. He feels he gets a good workout when he uses the pickaxe and actually likes to do it. (Ah to be young!)

A few days ago he took out four of them. Today he hacked away another four or five. While removing today’s victims he turned over a rather large rock and found what you see in the picture below.

It is quite ironic that he should find this shell of its former owner today as it was just yesterday I commented on Mrs. Greenhand’s blog concerning snakes. She had written a post explaining why snakes are actually good to stumble upon in one’s garden. I commented saying that I have yet to see any in my garden but I was sure they were somewhere out there. Well low and behold look what my son unearths today! What a coincidence.

 I do not know how I would handle stumbling upon the owner of that skin. It is nice to know that it is out there patrolling the garden but I think I am just fine with it remaining out of site. Although my boys might think otherwise!

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