I haven’t written about the Dolly Llama much lately, so this is for Angie (and probably Marla and Tiffany too!). Here she is!

llamahead

She is doing much better these days, compared to the er, flood incident that happened in January of 2009.

(more…)

blackberries Blackberry Bane

The hillside that we’d had denuded of blackberry vines last summer was needing something. It is a steep slope, about 45 degrees, so we want it to be held firm with deep-rooting plants. The steep hillsides around here have never been managed with erosion control in mind, mostly being allowed to populate with blackberries. Blackberries are a noxious weed in our region, and are not a good erosion control plant. Though they have aggressive and spreading root systems, their root type is thick and tuberous, a little like a potato. The roots don’t spread very deep or wide in a “net” fashion like you’d want for holding soil.  And though blackberry vines grow tall, their understory lacks leaves, so they don’t provide a lot of leaf surface for capturing and absorbing rainfall.

(more…)