Beautiful Invader

goat beard

This time of year in Juneau, the paths to mountain meadows are lined with blooming goat’s beard (aruncus dioicus) and buttercups. As I gardener, I am expected to hate these flowers. I Honor the code and rip out the fast growing goat’s beard from the snap pea bed before it can bloom. I untangle and destroy buttercup vines when I find them insinuated between carrot tops and broccoli starts.

lilyAs a benign user of the wilderness, I should rue the buttercup as an invader that shoulders asides the locals. I should resent it, as I do the non-Alaskan owners of the jewelry stores that have rooted in lower Franklin Street in ground that once supported the City Café and Juneau Cold Storage.

ladyBut on the path to this mountain meadow, yellow buttercups dance in the wind with white, delicate tassels’ of the goat’s beard. I tell Aki, “So what,” when we have to climb to higher ground for a view of chocolate lilies and the scented stalks of our lady tresses orchid.

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