Thursday, August 30, 2012

fly grass

I've written about Bern's back yard magic--how she has encouraged a small patch of bluets to spread and now almost covers all the yard. Bluets are a ground cover that is so soft it makes you take off your shoes to walk on it....heaven!

I noticed the other day that she's been transplanting bluets to the front yard as well, though they haven't near began to take over. Mostly in the front yard are a broom tree, various irises, trumpet plants, jonquils and tulips in season and about 6 different kinds of grasses. They grow to be 4 or 5 feet tall and are really wonderful swaying in the breezes. She cuts them down in the fall and the next spring they come back. Sort of like standing on the prairie.

But the other day, I noticed one particular strain of grass, that is chest high and the color of ripe wheat, was nearly covered on every stalk with dead flies. It was a bit eerie seeing the mass termination of flies. But they were dead, apparently stuck to the grass. I'm talking about dozens of dead flies on each stalk. Creepy.

Bern had, of course noticed it weeks ago--I tend to walk through the world in a state of disconnection bordering on a kind of semi-conscious fugue. For example, Bern is always moving furniture around. I'll notice and tell her I kinda like it or something and she'll shake her head and say something like, "I did that a month ago, I'm thinking of moving it somewhere else!"

She didn't remember the name of this fly eating grass (I pondered whether the little buggers got stuck and starved to death or whether the plant poisoned them) and thinks it might be something called citronella grass--which would make sense since you burn citronella candles to keep insects away. But she's not sure.

Today, frantically doing yard work because we'll be in North Carolina for 10 days, she cut down the stalks that were completely covered--fly mausoleums you might say because they were odd to the point of being disturbing.

We are leaving in the morning. My daughter and her boyfriend and my friend, John, will have laptops at the beach so I'll try to write some blogs about the wonders of Oak Island (the biggest one being that since it's a 'family beach', it is mostly deserted in September--thank God for the start of school!) if I can figure out how to get to this page through the front door. I have an icon to click on my computer that lets me in the back door. If I can't figure it out, you know why Under the Castor Oil Tree has gone dark for a while.

Be well and stay well.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.