When Black-Jacks became beautiful

I gasped at their beauty.  Never before had I seen common Black-jacks so beautiful!

Bidens pilosa

I had woken early that morning, my mind buzzing with the things that had to be done in preparation for my brother’s birthday party.  It was exciting, as finally my months, weeks and days of planning would evolve from my imagination and become a creative reality!

Pieter accepted coffee from me at 05h30 and to settle my excitement, he took me for a birding walk, the air was crisp with a cool breeze blowing, we listening to the early morning bird songs and walked amongst the tall red thatching grass watching stone chats and wax bills, robins and weavers living a free life.

We turned a corner and there in front of me was the most beautiful sight, surprisingly not an animal, nor a bird, but Bidens pilosa, the common Black-jack. The fine silhouette of its burrs made this weed attractive which was also thought provoking…  I thought about how often I had grumbled to myself about these obnoxious weeds, how I had spent hours picking the black, needle-like burrs out of my socks, off my sons trousers as well as off my husband’s jersey.  The Black-jacks had often ruined a relaxing walk by making me pluck their burrs that had caught on our clothing off, taking care to throw them into the dustbin to prevent further distribution.  Now I was admiring this plant and the very part of it I had begrudged!

My thoughts turned inward a little more as I realized how narrow minded I had become – my passion for conservation and alien plant control, though important and good for our natural world in its own right, this very mindset had choked my appreciation of all creation!

Today,  I dedicate my blog to the weeds of life, each created for a purpose and all to be marveled at!

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2 Responses to “When Black-Jacks became beautiful”

  1. John says:

    Is it true that the burrs can be boiled up and the “brew” used on dogs to get rid of fleas & tics?

  2. Trailsafari says:

    I’m not sure! Never tried that…. is there anyone who has?

 
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