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Southern Eyes

It's been a battle for seven months. My yard is not level, so one corner is held up by a wall of railroad timbers.

Since early spring, I've been spraying that wall with Round-Up to clear it of some vine that is incredibly persistent. Just when I thought I'd won, the timbers would disappear and become a wall of green leaves. In fact, (here's a note to the city) the fire hydrant there also has disappeared behind the vine. (A weed-eater may be on this year's list for Santa).

Most people do their yard work early in the morning when it's cooler. But I've never been a morning person. I'd rather be one, and I've tried, but for some reason, my body does not cooperate.

So imagine my surprise this morning when the sky was more overcast than usual.

I was driving to work and passed the corner wall and noticed it was not only green with leaves, but covered with bright blue flowers.

Evidently, when I had been missing the mornings, I also had missed the morning glories. And apparently I'd been killing them. Thankfully, they survived.

If only the sunflowers seeds I planted in the spring had done so well. I didn't even try to kill them, but not a single sunflower bloomed in my yard. In fact, I never saw a plant beyond the seedling stage. I can't blame Round-Up, but I do know the culprit.

While looking out a window, I saw the cutest little chipmunk on the back steps.

He quickly lost his "cuteness" when he hopped off the step and began nibbling on sunflower seedlings.

It didn't take him long to wipe them out. If only he'd been as steadfast as the morning glories.

He could have said "no" to the snack of seedlings and a few months later, gorged on a feast of sunflower seeds. And I could've enjoyed the flowers in the meantime.

Chris Smith at the Old Frontier Camp said he also had problems with some seed he planted. Instead of a five-foot flower patch, Chris planted a five-acre corn field for the corn maze. When I interviewed him for a preview of the maze, Chris said one corner of the corn field is "a little sparse."

He didn't know the reason, but I suspect he had some sort of hungry critter. Chris said the rest of the field is still dense, and the maze is a lot of fun again this year.

I've never been too good at those mazes. But, I may get brave and try this one, considering the sparse corner may offer an advantage.

If it doesn't work, I'll take a chipmunk along to help chew us through.

Web posted on Thursday, September 24, 2009

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