Friday, September 6, 2013

Pandapas Pond, Meditate weeding

                                              Pandapas Pond, Virginia (woods around it)

    So a few weeks ago I did a little volunteering at "Pandapas Pond". It is called "Pandapas" as it is named after James Pandapas, local industrialist with some money who used it for his own private hunting grounds. Now it is part of the Jefferson National Forest (which I hope they don't ruin with anything like fracking), and has many Poverty Creek Trail system trails off of it.
     With the other Master naturalists in my group, we did some weeding in a "rain garden" area off of the butterfly garden that fellow member Barb Walker had started, a nice addition to something you can find along the trail, not too far from the pond and surrounding woods themselves. Butterflies are a unique addition to any habitat. For a delicate insect they can last a while (those born in October will fly all the way to Mexico and then overwinter there, come back in the spring and then mate, lay eggs and die). I learned a few things about them recently at the Virginia Tech Paula Hahn Horticulture Center.
    Some say weeding is a meditative process, a way of being one with the soil. You concentrate on this one action and things slip away; you forget about current entanglements and worries. And if your legs, as you get older, are getting weak, instead of bending over everything the whole time, you can get yourself a little stool to sit on (found this short, green plastic job in the garden dept. at Wal-Mart). That's what I did part of the time. Yes, the butterfly garden area is really coming along, and besides butterfly bush there are some unusual shrubs, like senna and a bit of ironwood too, I believe.


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