The Outsider: Ploughing through the plagues
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | August 10, 2017|
“And so it was that the men had strayed from the righteous
path and the Lord sent down a plague upon them; a plague of … Fall Armyworms!”
OK, so I'm not quoting the good book word for word, and hopefully I'm not offending anyone who reads it more often than I do, but you get my drift, right? It was like a plague, you see, almost every one of our corn plants had a bustling community of these dastardly caterpillar-like critters, which were making short work of their rather pathetic looking leaves. But what had we done to deserve being dealt such a cruel hand? How could we hope to wage war on the many squadrons of rather aptly named attackers?
To fill you in on the back story, a buddy of mine decided he wanted to use his old tractor. He wanted to plough a field, no less. And so, mechanically minded as he is, he tinkered with and tuned up the tractor, hooked on a plough and set to it. And a fine job he did too, if you take into consideration the plague of rocks he had to endure and don't count one or two wiggly rows.
But then what to do with a ploughed field? Plant corn of course; it seemed like a no brainer. So, a bunch of us crawled up and down the furrowed rows jabbing corn seeds into the earth. And then we sat back and watched them grow.
They almost kept up with the weeds. Our little corn plants did their best to fight their way toward the odd flash of sunlight that lit the field between a summer plagued with rain. They pushed up through a verdant forest of grass and milkweed that we weed whacked for all our worth to try and keep at bay, after the exhaust blew off the rototiller and it quit with a loud bang.
But the Fall Armyworms, we weren't ready for them. And earwigs too. All living in the centre of our little corn plants. All feasting non-stop on the leaves.
It was as if someone somewhere up there had given us a swift kick in the nuts. “So you think you can just go ahead and grow corn do you! So you think you can play at being farmers do you!”
'Eeuurgh'. Right in the privates. A plague of creepy crawlies.
That'll teach us. I'm amazed that anyone would choose to be a farmer if this is what you have to deal with year in year out. I'm also truly grateful for those who do toil in the fields to bring corn and other delicious food to our tables because it certainly ain't easy, that's for sure.
And then, just when we'd resigned ourselves to the fact that we'd be sharing our mediocre crop with an army of insects, we spotted the footprints of another invader. Deer. Oh dear. And raccoon, too.
Actually, my words were less polite, as I shook my fists at the sky, willing to blame anyone, anything that might listen for this plethora of pests both big and small cast down upon me.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider