What a mess

Said my friend, referring to a pavement with many weeds growing along it. The weeds should be zapped with weed-killer.

Looking at it from a theological perspective I can see no justification for the term ‘weed’. All living things have been created by God yet my friend, and many others, have decided that some of them are undesirable and should be killed. This cannot be right.

The pavement, on the other hand, was created by man, and it is hard to see why the man-made should take precedence over divine creation. In my capacity as the Reverend Rod, I cannot justify this. Let the weeds take over the world.

Furthermore, as the surface of the planet is gradually covered by pavements, car parks and buildings, I have to ask where the Lord’s water is supposed to go when it rains. One thing is sure, it will not refresh the soil underneath the ever increasing acreage of concrete and tarmac. (Has anyone attempted to measure what percentage of the earth’s soil has already been lost to us?)

Soil is usually taken for granted but is actually of great importance. To quote the beginning of the Wikipedia article on the subject:

Soil is the mixture of minerals, organic matter, gases, liquids and a myriad of organisms that can support plant life. It is a natural body that exists as part of the pedosphere and it performs four important functions: it is a medium for plant growth; it is a means of water storage, supply and purification; it is a modifier of the atmosphere; and it is a habitat for organisms that take part in decomposition and creation of a habitat for other organisms.

Soil profile 236x288 38.76 KB. Units are inches.

Soil profile 236×288 38.76 KB. Units are inches. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we drove along the Lang Loan my friend also took a dim view of the verges. Some of the plants were approaching three feet in height. She would like to tidy them up but, there again, I have a problem. Look closely and we see that the verge is a habitat supporting many species of plants, insects, birds and small mammals, and I can find no support in scripture for moving in with our mechanical mowers and killing them all off.

Is being neat and tidy really such a good thing? Not when it comes to Nature.

Let the verges flourish, saith the preacher.


I Like crocuses, so two years ago I bought fifty crocus bulbs and planted them in the garden. There are two possibilities. Either they were lurking in the nearby trees, arms folded,  watching me plant them, or new crocus bulbs have a strong smell attractive to squirrels, who love nothing more than to dig them up and eat them. So three hours after I’d planted them, my friendly local squirrels had eaten the lot. Not one remained. I notice that squirrels don’t dig up mature crocuses, so maybe they lose their attractive smell over time. Round one to the squirrels.

Fortunately, I live in a city rich with crocuses so I am not altogether deprived.

Crocuses 2

Crocuses 4

Like many people I had a problem with squirrels raiding bird feeders – until I hit on a simple solution. I hung them from a gutter. Now I sometimes see the occasional squirrel on the ground below gazing wistfully up at them. Round two to me.
Are squirrels delightful and cuddly creatures? Some people think so, though a friend of mine has her own take on the subject: Squirrels are just rats with good PR.
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