The Wabbits Ally With Radical Terrorists

Today is opening day of a new chapter in the Wabbit War. Last year (2010), Grumpa Joe (GJ) battled the Wabbits, and by late August they disappeared from the garden. However, GJ uncovered large amounts of evidence to suggest the Wabbits will return again soon.  Throughout the winter there has been an abundance of snow, and the level of Wabbit tracks in the snow was telling. In addition, early this spring GJ uncovered evidence that the Wabbits devastated his prize Viburnum shrub by clipping all the lower stems, and leaving the naked center branch looking like a torch. Piles of Wabbit scat encircle the Viburnum.

The tulips, a Wabbit favorite, are just beginning to open. Grumpa Joe sits at the window awaiting the first Wabbit attack hoping to prevent needless tulip decapitations.

Late last summer, a new enemy joined the Wabbit Wars; Cirsium arvense(Canadian thistle). This new enemy employs radical terrorist techniques. He attacks by popping up in the middle of a dense lawn or flower bed. By the time he is sighted he has sent combatant runners  spreading around the yard to establish more sleeper cells. The mower is one of the primary forces GJ used to combat them in the lawn. The whirling blade whacks the Cirsium; wounding, but also infuriating him. The warrior returns stronger than before. During his recovery he dispatches several young roots burrowing underground to establish new cells. Within a week, the cells begin to pop up along a line extending from the wounded warrior.

In the flower beds, the Cirsium arvense terrorists work under cover of foliage to grow and strengthen. By the time GJ spies evidence of their presence, they are fully established and towering over the flowers held hostage to hide their activity. They send copious numbers of sleeper cells running in many directions. They sleep underground until ready to attack then spring up everywhere within ten feet of origin.

Several times, GJ attacked them with the digger tool, and even a spade. Pulling  out runners, and following them to new cells. Often, he pulled up two feet of roots with green shoots that had sprouted along the runner. If a single small piece of the root breaks off during removal, it survives to become a new sleeper cell. The Cirsium reestablishes itself, and within a week new sleeper cells are terrorizing the flower bed.

Grumpa Joe attended a late fall conference of Master Gardener Generals to discuss the Cirsium terrorists. The generals instructed GJ to rid the Cirsium arvense with the dreaded garden nemesis; Roundup. In the early spring, GJ would have to drench the fresh young shoots with this chemical killer of broad leaf vegetation. The chemical works by absorbing into the foliage and traveling into the root system.

This afternoon at 13:00 hours, Grumpa Joe dressed in full chemical battle garb. He loaded his sprayer with the prescribed ratio of concentrate and water. He pumped the tank sixty times to pressurize the nozzle, and forged into battle. By 14:30 hours all visible Cirsium terrorists were drenched in chemical.

By 13:00 hours tomorrow, Grumpa Joe will know if his attack affected the Cirsium army.  He will sorrow over the many innocent garden plants he has killed. What he will not know is this; has he merely sent the Cirsium arvense Terrorists underground to form new sleeper cells?

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