Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cowpen Daisy

a bouquet to enjoy
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot." NIV

My sense of beauty is wilder than most. If something flowers, I want it to live. Only if it rudely pushes in, taking over space already promised to something else do I sorrowfully admit it might be a weed.

When water is in abundance, I often allow a bit of intrusion. The usurper’s beauty gives it privileges mere grasses never obtain.  

It’s a luxury I’ve taken for granted, like the rain.

With nine months of drought and stage five water conservation, I carefully measure where and what I water. Under my fruit trees where I laid the soaker hose, a beautiful patch of Golden Crownbeard, also known as ‘Cowpen Daisy,’ sprang up.

Golden Crownbeard
With such few wildflowers, I wondered, “Do I leave them? A mass of yellow daisies dancing in the breeze makes me smile. Maybe they are shading the ground and conserving water. Crownbeards only need water about once a month to survive. Does that mean they don’t drink it if it is there?
Vibrant green Crownbeard

 Probably not. Their normal color is a gray-green. Where I watered they are bright green. Reluctantly, I admit I remember more about these shaggy daisies. They shade out native vegetation and produce chemicals toxic to most other plants.  

Instead of feeling joy and satisfaction as I look at this growing mass of green, I feel guilt. With resigned heart I pull the flora. It is still a ground cover except where it stood, it now lays.
The deed is half done—mulch instead of life—I don’t know if I can do the rest.
Mulched Golden Crownbeard
But it is mulch adding and giving life, conserving instead of using water and nutrients. With that thought, I can finish the task tomorrow or the maybe the next day.

The consolation: Each plant self-pollinates and makes about 350 seeds waiting for a chance to sprout at a better time and place.

For instance, if these weeds were isolated to a neglected spot where there was a need to block out other vegetation and yet offer a great show of yellow blossoms, it would be perfect. But they are destructive left to grow under my fruit trees.

In times of need, sacrificing some pleasures sustains life.

Lord, give us wisdom and discernment in the way we use Your gifts. 

Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region
Beautifully illustrated with
sections for each Texas region

A Field Guide to Southwestern and Texas Wildflowers (Peterson Field Guide)

A Field Guide to Southwestern and Texas Wildflowers (Peterson Field Guide)
Easy to use field guide with
some colored illustrations as well
as line drawings. Categorized
 by color of blossom.

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