by Lorrie Otto
Last week I took my Bellingham daughter to view Ney Fraser's prairie plantings on the banks of Big Bay County Park.
With Ney in tow, we left our car behind a line of parked vehicles on Palisade Road off of North Lake Drive in Whitefish Bay. As we approached the hairpin path to the lake, I exclaimed, “Oh, this will never do!"
Scattered down along the edge of the path were clumps of giant ragweeds higher than the tops of our heads. In another week they would have been in full bloom. We are members of Wild Ones, so what else could we do but spend a little time pulling noxious weeds?
We made a pile waist high, looking like a green muskrat house at the top of the path. It is really quite charming, with yellow-green fingers of ragweed dangling around the sides, with a small bouquet of Canada thistles on the top beside a burdock leaf.
After this, we took a lovely walk, enjoying the sprinkling of wild flowers, fire flies, a young rabbit, plus a few wonderful bats swooping over our heads. Then we returned to our car which looked lonely with a bright orange parking ticket under the windshield wiper.
The next day when I paid my $15 fine, a humorless old lady said that she hoped that I had learned my lesson to not pick ragweeds. Nope, but I'll read signs that warn us not to park after 8 p.m. on that street.
It was amazing to be thanked by everyone who walked up or down the path that evening. And one couple wants to join Wild Ones, and others now plan to attend Designer Day in October.One never knows where a spider will put all of its feet.
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Updated: Oct 18, 2006.