The Back Wilderness

I’ve taken you on a tour of the garden- the stuff we grow on purpose.

Now here’s what grows without any effort at all!  (If only I could find a use for these things.)

Dock. Deep rooted, nearly impossible to pull by hand. Loves the same conditions as stinging nettles, and is often found in the same areas. Which is good, because it can soothe the nettle’s sting.

Stinky Bob. Or Stinky John? I don’t know. But it spreads like crazy, and smells bad. LOVES the edges of our woods.
stinky bob

Oh help. That’s a lot of nettles. Luckily, the solid wall of blackberry brambles keep the kids out of this. I shudder to think of Mimi wading into this mess, it’s over her head!

Stinging nettles are covered in a thin, brittle “glass.” If you brush against them, it shatters and embeds in your skin- the more you rub, the more it throbs, itches, and yes: stings. I know these are edible- I cooked some up once when I was a girl, they tasted similar to spinach. Oddly enough, I can’t convince myself to go out gathering. (A few changes of water clears away the chemical glass.)

This nurse log is only a few years old- our area had a massive wind storm a few years back that took down hundreds of trees like this ancient cedar. The problem with our boggy forests is that the trees develop very shallow root systems- you can see how wide it was, but hardly any depth. When the tree came down, it took out part of the fence and the deck (we think.)
nurse og

I saw moss, lichen, native blackberries, invasive (himalayan) blackberries, a small white flower, and ferns all growing out of this log in just a few year’s time since its fall. I expect to find red huckleberries in the next few years- there are a few bushes close to the house, and birds scatter the (um…digested) seeds far and wide. They normally grow out of old logs and stumps like these.
nurse og

These next pictures are mushrooms. SOMETHING has been nibbling at them in the night. I wish I knew more about mushrooms, to know whether or not these could come to my table. They pop up in this spot about twice a year.


They’re pretty big!

And finally, it wouldn’t be spring without new birth, right? Unfortunately, these critters didn’t last long. I wouldn’t have minded them, if they hadn’t been in the door jamb.
just-hatched spiders


6 Responses

  1. Again, to the spiders, EWWWW. To all the other stuff…what a very VIBRANT yard!

  2. That was real fun up until the spiders! I have a terrible fear of spiders. The yard looks great though! I grew up in the midwest which has a lot more green growth than this arid climate I’m in now. I miss the lushness.

    • Then you don’t want to know about the 4″ monster my sister in CT found in her hallway….ugh. We used to get enormous ones in our basement bedroom when we lived in a “swamp.” (Well, a wetland.) Ugh…..

      It IS a fun yard, though 🙂 One of our main reasons for moving to this house!

  3. The spiders don’t trouble me much, seeing as how we have permanent ones living in our upstairs bathroom and the bucket in the basement. 😉

    I am a little jealous because you could so use a goat and I so want a goat. We really need to be neighbors.

    • I could SO use a goat…but they’re expensive to rent, and I don’t have nearly enough space to pasture her 🙂

      But yes: we really DO need to be neighbors.

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