Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Burn out that burdock!

The wonderful wildlife photographer and writer Marie Read took this sad photo of a goldfinch who met with a tragic death at the sharp thorns of a burdock. Joel Baines is the one who alerted Marie to this horrible situation. His book, Native Plants for Native Birds: A Guide to Planting for Birds in and around Ithaca, New York, is really worth reading if you're a human gardener. Tragically, most of us birds are functionally illiterate and often "plant" the seeds of invasive exotics in our droppings, so this is a situation in which we are dependent upon the kindness of strangers. But really, it was humans who brought these weeds here in the first place, so it really IS their responsibility to get rid of them.

If you're a human who happens to have burdock on your property, please, please, PLEASE burn it out. It is an exotic weed that we goldfinches have not had time to evolve defenses against. None of us deserve such a fate.

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