February 17, 2012

Fire Ants + Fireworks = Forgiveness



a fire ant mound





 a 16 year old boy and explosives


innocent bystanders:  birdbath (birthday gift last year)


columbine, purple oxalis, cedar sage and holly fern




My sixteen year old son and several friends were tempted beyond restraint by a large, teeming mound of fire ants.  

Filled to the brim with testosterone and glee, they studded the mound with an ample amount of explosives.  Plentiful enough to crack the birdbath and blow the columbine, oxalis and cedar sage to smithereens.  Within a couple of days the fire ants relocated their mound six inches from its original site.  Clearly, this treatment for fire ants is ineffective.  

This incident happened during Christmas break.   It's taken me this long to get over it...

But it's time for forgiveness...the plants are thriving, the birdbath will be used as a base for tesserae and once again, I'm reminded of the amazing resilience of a garden and its inhabitants (welcome and unwelcome), and the fierce love of a mother for her boy. 






25 comments:

  1. Could have been worse -- they could have poured gasoline all over the mound and lit it on fire.

    Is there no effective repair for a cracked birdbath? I've got a heavy ceramic saucer that I use for the birds that cracked (well, split) last winter. Now I'm researching the solution for both of us!

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  2. I would have been worried that the fire ants would have rained all over them - that would have been a lesson learned well! Too bad it was your garden and birdbath that were hurt in the explosion instead of the ants. Inquisitive minds are a wonderful, and sometimes messy, thing. Loved your last sentence.

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  3. Boys and fire or explosives (me the first, once...*once*!) And my little fireball, black-haired Sicilian mother forgave me, too. Yes, that is an incredible motherly gift!

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  4. Been there. Done that. And forgiven. Thanks for the story. And as you already know we have to pick our battles, don't we.

    The story reminds me of my youth. Thanks for the memories.

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  5. Yes, a mother's love is amazing - able to forgive in an instant. Enjoy this time.

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  6. They're lucky that no one was hurt. A fire ant bite stings!!!

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  7. I've ben forgiven for much in my time but I'm rather jealous that I never thought of doing that even if it was totally ineffective!

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  8. I am so glad you forgave him. I actually felt a bit sorry for him seeing him acting all sheepish around you ;-) (cause it feels that it was not too long ago that I walked around like this around my mom)
    He is such a sweet guy!!!! (Am I acting like his lawyer now?)
    I am also very glag the plants came back and you could take those amazing pics!
    Have a great weekend.
    xxo, Sandra

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  9. Im thinking I would of been alittle angry too, noone messes with moms garden!

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  10. Cat, what a great story of a boy and his mom...glad to hear it ended well...he learned many lessons and forgiveness was a big one....

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  11. Alan, Oh my gosh, I hadn't thought of that! Yes, it could have been worse ;)

    @All, they did get a few bites but they seemed to think they were worth the experience ;) You guys are making me glad it was fireworks and not fire!

    Sandra, he had better be acting sheepish! As Debbie said, you don't mess with mom's garden!

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  12. I was about to say thankfully teenage boys grow up ... but we don't really want them growing up to quickly - who else would blow up our gardens then ? :)

    Lovely story even if a few plants got harmed.

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  13. THANK YOU, THANK YOU! for turning off the word verification!

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  14. Eeek! Not surprised it took a while for forgiveness to kick in. Hilarious that the ants remained unmoved... Thank goodness for the resilience of mother love and plant life.

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  15. Am happy that peace eventually prevails... also had a little laugh at Texwisgirl on the verification thing... think the 'new' verification method is driving a lot of people quite crazy...

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  16. Lrong, yes, I agree with TexWisGirl. She wrote a post about the new captcha verification. The codes are so hard to decipher that they keep me from leaving comments.

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  17. The poor sweet birdbath! But your relationship is worth much much more...I did chuckle though at the mental picture!

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  18. It could have been worse - from one mom to another. At least he just blew up ants and not himself. When my brother and I were (completely unsupervised)kids we played with knives and road flares. Seriously! And my students wonder why they can never fool me. It took our mom awhile to forgive us, too. But she did (I think)!

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  19. Boys can be so mischievous. Believe it or not, you'll save up all those stories and look back at them someday with a smile.

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  20. Tammy, that's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time! It sounds like you kept your mom on her toes. I'll count my blessings!

    Ally, I know you're right...I already do :)

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  21. Ah yes, the fierce love of a mother for her boy - I totally relate! And I enjoyed reading about the creative attempt to destroy the fire ants!

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  22. All's well that ends well with nature reasserting itself in ant mounds and maternal love. Sweet family saga, Cat, pieced together with your usual soft-hearted shots

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  23. Hi Cat, I guess that there is something to that old cliche "boys will be boys". Oh well, what can you do, but forgive them. At least you can take heart in the fact that nature has regrouped and recovered.

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  24. Just read Meredith's story of her boy "helping" in her garden and came over to check out your story. All I can say is -- what a fantastic mom you are!

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  25. What a great story! Sounds like something my 18yo son would try. I know...I shouldn't encourage them by being amused. Glad to have found your blog. I've added it to my reading list.

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Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

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