Posts Tagged With: Invasive Species


On June 7th of this year,  I blogged about the beautiful but invasive plant, Scotch Broom. Impossible to eradicate because the seeds can live 100 years. It has taken over the state of Washington and interferes with native plants. I copped a picture from a local newspaper:

DSC06861 (Copy)It isn’t a good enough picture to recognize the plant along the roadside, but even so, be aware that in our convoluted laws, we can’t get a ban on selling this plant until it is proven a nuisance. By then, of course, it is too late. I put out a petition in June, hoping to get a change in that law and a congresswoman from Oregon responded saying she had a bill going through the state legislature to change that type of backward process in Oregon.

Now, the good news is, in nearby El Dorado County, a mite was discovered that attacks the scotch broom and could keep it in check. While good news, it hasn’t happened yet, but remember, don’t buy and don’t plant scotch broom. Find a pretty yellow flowering plant that looks just as good. And, when you are in a nursery, remind your favorite nursery owner, if he’ll voluntarily chose not to sell it and advertise the negatives of scotch broom and recommend a better plant.

Today, I hope to pick the last of my apples and clean up underneath them. It was a real treat to have a heavy rain and not have to carry bath water out to my plants.

I hope the people in the burn area have seen some good come from this rain, though I know some feared it would  cause mud slides and erosion. A big mess no one needs after this horrible fire.

Even so, let us not pretend we can or should control the weather. Every time man interferes with the natural order of things, we wind up with disasters. Well, maybe not every time.  Enough said.







Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment


My husband and I took a trip to Washington State in the mid 1990’s. Here we are, say about 20 years later and I was astonished when Jim and I traveled the state of Washington to see scotch broom covering the state. It filled clear cuts. It invaded parking lots, coming up through the asphalt in places. It is everywhere a pest, however beautiful it looks on rocky outcrops.

Last week, on my way to Oregon, I discovered Scotch Broom beginning its March into the state. It had invaded the back half of my seven acres near the river. I figured I could get rid of it quickly. Not so, explained my plant biologist daughter. You might be able to contain it by keeping it from spreading by vigilantly cutting it before it goes to seed. But, I don’t have 100 years left to do that.  I also have it on my property in Murphys. You have to get every plant. Had I known I wouldn’t have bought the stuff.


So, I’ve started a petition to change that. Please sign for me and let your friends know.




I bought Scotch Broom and now have to spend the rest of my life trying to rid my property of it. If I had known it is a take-over horror that interferes with natural plants, animals, birds, sidewalks and parking lots; it gravitates and fills clear cuts and that the seeds last 100 years I wouldn’t have bought it.

That’s why I created a petition to The Oregon State House, The Oregon State Senate, Governor Kate Brown, The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama, which says:

“Invasive plants are considered innocent until proven guilty. By then, they are out of control and cost millions to eradicate when possible. Why allow nurseries to sell invasive foreign species? At least labeling should be required. Simple testing first would save billions. ”

Will you sign this petition? Click here:


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments


DSC05342 (Copy)

The weather was perfect, warm and balmy with a lovely breeze blowing off the river. We are staying at the Valley of the Rogue State Park with walking trails next to the mighty Rogue River. It was protected as a wild and scenic river under the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.  Located in southwestern Oregon, it flows 215 miles from Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean. The 84 mile, Congressionally designated “National Wild and Scenic” portion of the Rogue begins 7 miles west of Grants Pass and ends 11 miles east of Gold Beach.

DSC05343 (Copy)On the river path, several well warn spots from former campers provides access to swim in the river if you want to, at your own risk, of course. At this spot, someone built a stone pool, maybe to entrap salmon, or maybe to take a safe dunk.

DSC05345 (Copy) The park has a salmon viewing platform and from all information gathered, the spawning season is upon us, Sept. and Oct. But we didn’t see one jumping salmon in the Rogue.  We are here because I have property at East Evans Creek. It flows into the Rogue. My place was flooded, not by wild lands flooding, but frozen and broken pipes on the inside destroyed it beyond redemption. We had to stay here because my son is in the process of building on my place, and cement trucks need the turn around space.

DSC05344 (Copy)

The park used to have beautiful views of the mountains. Now, they have the scar of a clear cut. I hate mentioning negatives, but if we ignore them, nothing changes. Clear cuts are not necessary to sustain a lumber industry. Sustainable logging is not only possible, but healthier for birds, animals, insects, rivers, watershed, air quality and their industry. Greed is the defining push for clear cutting. Every one I see angers me.

In fact, coastal Washington and areas of Oregon have been taken over by an invasive but beautiful plant, scotch broom. Not on this trip, but another, we’ve seen entire clear cuts filled with scotch broom preventing native plants from re-growth.  What puzzles me is why nurseries in Washington, Oregon and California allow the sale of invasive species.

The park is spacious, and well treed. But it too, is a victim of invasive  star thistle. We walked through patches of it on our way to the trails. Even so,  I can imagine the beauty of this park, what it once looked like. Green and beautiful, a refreshing river. And, I’m grateful for whatever pieces of our wild land heritage we can save to savor what this land was like in the past.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment


When my grand kids were little and a trail of ants appeared on the counter top, I’d take swipe at them and eat them, just to watch their wide-eyed  horror.  Those were the days when American ants were still arriving unwanted in my house.  Now I wish I could find an American ant. Those that occasionally rummage through crumbs on my counter  taste putrid;  they are South American invaders. Even touching them, or  squishing them with a paper towel, or rag, sends up an offensive odor.  American ants taste like pepper.  The first  ants I tried came chocolate covered in a jar, thus my foray into ant eating.  And, today, after launching a petition with, I thought about something I used to  tell my grand kids:  If you want to get rid of something, like these ants, just make them a food source and they’ll disappear.

During the hippy 60’s I tried dandelion weeds, chamomile, purslane, and other kinds of non-essential wild plants using as my guide Euell Gibbons book, Stalking The Wild Asparagus. It was fun and not a permanent part of my cooking. But, like solar cooking, maybe it should be, methinks.

I used the internet to search for recipes for invasive plants.  Only one website actually provided a number of decent appetizing recipes.

This  recipe for  stuffed Garlic Mustard Leaves came from the website above.

Stuffed Garlic Mustard Leaves
Submitted by Alex Streat, The Garlic Mustard Cook’s Challenge 2001

20 medium garlic mustard leaves, washed and dried on paper towels
5 wooden spoonfuls of cooked sausage
4 wooden spoonfuls of cooked rice
2 Tbsp chopped garlic mustard leaves
1 Tbsp lemon juice

I had no clue what garlic mustard looked like until I saw this picture. It grows all over Washington State and Oregon. It adapted well  to the lush tall tree understory in the Thousand Trails parks where we stayed. Now that I know what it is, I’ll try recipes using garlic mustard leaves when we return to Washington State.  Japanese knotweed,  and other invaders that mostly populate the East and South, sounded pretty tasty.

Most of  the recipes I found  were for  invasivores, a new word to me, which means invasive tilapia, carp, rusty crayfish, tiger snails, feral pigs, rabbits and so on.  Fish and meat.

The rest of what I learned on my forage was mind-boggling.

Invasive species have contributed directly to the decline of 42 percent of the threatened and endangered mammal and ocean species in the U.S. (Travaglini, 2009).

To date, over 5,000 alien plants have invaded the natural areas of North America (Tallamy, 2007).

Non-indigenous weeds are spreading and invading approximately 700,000 hectares of U.S. wildlife habitat per year (Pimentel, et al 2005).

The estimated damage from invasive species worldwide totals more than $1.4 trillion – 5 percent of the global economy (Pimentel, et al 2001).

The annual cost to the United States economy is estimated at $120 billion a year (Travaglini, 2009).

I complained about the Australian plant, pampas grass?  Australians  are fighting with Florida invaders, pond apple, in their country. Floridians love pond apple and the Australians hate it because it is wiping out their sweet melaleuca  berry trees. Such irony.

The above website lists invasive species that are edible, but the recipes are no longer available from the site.

Now a word about my petition. I received a call from a friend who is a scientist. She told me an environmental scientist friend of hers explained why she  would not sign my petition to halt the sale of non-native invasive species by our nurseries;  because it is too non-specific in its wording and does not address how it could be fairly implemented.

The petition is not a law. gives you 75 characters to state your petition. If it gets enough interest, it can then be pedaled to a congress person to turn it into a bill. The study for the bill would help define the language used and be vetted for legality. It is just a first step in the  process. And, I’ve had a huge education about invasive species since starting it. Most invaders get here by accident, commerce, trade, transportation. Not through nurseries. Yet not selling them can have a beneficial impact. I would never have bought pampas grass if I had known what a monster it was. I would have bought something else to decorate that spot.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Yesterday, we spent the afternoon and evening with cousins Rick and Mike DiPaola, and family, and friends, at Mikes house on Long Pond. This long pond is Mike’s back yard and happens to be 4 miles long, a fact that would make it a lake in California. A heavenly place and a wonderful time. Ann’s hospitality, says Jim, is always abundant. (True.)
I was thrilled to be able to try kayaking, something Mike and his friend Steve regard as their major recreational activity-as in every day. I kayaked once with my grandson, Stewart and have wanted to try it again. So, off we went.

Mike has a number of boats about the place of various types and sizes since the whole family, (except maybe Ann) go kayaking.

We loaded into the boats and paddled across the pond to a quiet cove. I got a lesson on invasive species and the strange Massacusetts’ laws that prevent a fix. Pond weeds that choke the pond could be eradicated by the introduction of sterile carp. They eat the stuff then die after five years without reproducing. Nope! The carp introduction is against the law in MA. The guys once found a dead kingfisher that dove for his breakfast and got caught in the weed and drowned.

Mike talked about other plants and trees and the tranquility offered by kayaking on a quiet pond, de-stressing at the end of the day, and enjoying nature. That’s what appeals to him.

Steve demonstrates the best way to relax, just rest your elbows on the sides, lean back and enjoy a quiet float. Relaxation and exercise is the best part of “paddling”. The guys kayak winter and summer. They know how to paddle against the currents in a river and still move forward. Experts, in other words.

Mike’s brother Rick has NEVER gotten into a kayak. Mike claims that he is still working on him.

We enjoyed good food and chat, but the entertainment was provided by Vinnie, a two year old Boston Terrier, who continually played with his “trained” humans. An amazing little guy who could jump fences and chase for hours, if you were willing.

Mike put his plastic bottle on the handle of the pick to challenge him for awhile.
We spent the morning at the Festa Parade. More on that tomorrow, but, lunch time, knowing we will soon leave the area, Jim had his final fish & chips at his favorite restaurant, Gene’s Famous Seafoods in Fairhaven. Its been written up in USA Today and a couple of other local papers. But, no matter, the cod is the greatest.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at