Weeds and Windshields

Fields in N Cape County 08-25-2015I was blasting down State Route C on the way to Cape from Altenburg when I noticed tall stalks of what I took to be corn in the middle of what I think is soybeans (my farm knowledge is somewhere between erroneous and inadequate).

Traffic on C can move pretty fast, so I turned right onto 516 at New Wells, and took the next right onto 517, which put me on a little-traveled road on the backside of my field. There was a cornfield on the driver’s side of the car.

It was from there that the errant corn must have escaped. Or, maybe the farmer hadn’t cleaned his equipment off when moving from field to field. Or, maybe a bird dropped the seed. Who knows?

What is a weed?

Fields in N Cape County 08-25-2015Funny what sticks with you from grade school. The teacher asked the class if they could say what a weed was.

The answer was predictable: dandelion, crab grass, ragweed, Jimson weed…

“How about an oak?” the teacher asked.

“No, an oak is a tree. It’s not a weed,” the class protested.

“A weed,” the teacher explained, “is a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants. So, wouldn’t you consider an oak tree in the middle of a wheat field to be a weed?”

She had us there

So, somewhere back at Trinity Lutheran School, in the middle of the 20th Century, the seed of a weed oak tree was planted in my head.

You can click on the photo to make it larger. I’m sure somebody out there will tell me that that’s not corn in a soybean patch, that’s really a radish popping up in a field of rutabagas.