Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This morning I decided to do a "quick sweep" along the length of the fence before returning to my big patch of garlic mustard by the oak. Ha, I'm sure you know how that goes: most of the area was pretty good, but I got bogged down in a big GM cluster near the entrance to the site and never did get back to my previous spot. I didn't even get the whole entrance area cleared, but one more day ought to do it. I really should be taking before and after pictures, but so far it hasn't happened. I start work early when the light's not very bright -- and neither am I.

It's always awkward working right at the edge of the path, with all the runners, bikers and dogwalkers (not to mention dogs) wondering what that poor woman is doing crouched in the weeds. I rehearse my little speech about stewardship, wetland restoration and invasive plants, but nobody stops to ask questions. Technically I can't even claim to be working with the stewardship program any more, since Beechwood isn't one of their sites this year: it's coming along nicely and other locations need attention more. I'll call myself a Steward Emeritus and do what I can to maintain what we've achieved. (Hm, I've just come across the term éminence grise, "a person who wields great power and influence, but secretly or unofficially." Sounds good!)

Working autonomously suits me fine, but I don't have all the gear the city provides for its stewards. The equipment box lacks its former cargo of gloves, shovels, pruners, reference books, first aid kit, sunscreen and bug spray, etc. I do have a lovely sturdy pair of gloves (thanks Elaine!) and it's easy enough to bring small hand tools from home. For a while I used my own garden trowel, until one day I was digging up a stubborn root and hit something hard. I dug a bit more and unearthed -- another trowel! Meta! Now it's the one I use all the time. Looks like the land really does provide everything we need.

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