Taming the Wilderness

We have a wilderness area here on Chalk Hill.  This isn’t the sort of wilderness that Lady Catherine de Bourgh sought for a private audience with Elizabeth Bennet.  It’s WILDerness.  Texas style.

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It’s an eyesore, a jungle, and a harbor for evil.  Our first week in our house brought on a plague of carpenter ants.  The exterminator severely warned me to expect many more invasions until we eliminated it.  All of it.  Our wilderness borders a full quarter of our house, stretching from the front left corner, extending the full width of the house, and then clawing its way up the walls of our patio.  The majority of the problem stems from un-curbed English Ivy (forgive the pun!) Its choke hold threatens three mature trees and many gangling shrubs. Its foot-deep carpet creates our barn cats’ favorite hunting spot. This maniacal vine harbors hundreds of ‘volunteer’ trees desperate to tap into our septic tank below.   And then there’s the poison ivy camouflaged throughout.

We’ve waged chemical war on this beast on several occasions, but strong herbicides act like fertilizer.  Armed warfare (machetes and rakes) are the only defense.  And each time we’ve been recoiled by poison ivy (and fatigue!)

Until NOW

We are waging full-on thermo-nuclear-all-hands-on-deck WAR.  It’s grueling.  It takes commitment, deliberate hand-painted chemical application, and nerves of steel.

So far, we have unearthed a long lost rock border,


a skull,


many wasps nests, a swarming yellow jacket nest, and most fearsome of all…

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a SNAKE!!!!!!

Even Elizabeth Bennet would fear to tread here.  But we’ll be hard at it tomorrow.  And this time, we are GOING to win.