Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ode to Kudzu


You mainly only hear bad things about it.

People make mean faces and spit their chaw when they mention it.

The government has spent a billion dollars trying to get rid of it, only to discover that to kill Kudzu, you have to kill the entire national forest along with it.

I personally love Kudzu. It's only in the South, so it makes it "ours". Well, apparently it's in Japan too, but that's their problem.

People state that they hate it. That it's a menace to society and rural land. You see, for all ya'll unfamiliar with Kudzu, it is a vine. An extremely hardy, impossible to kill vine. It doesn't just grow up a side of a house.... it grows up the side of the house, over the roof and onto the other house without dipping down. Basically, it smothers whatever it grows on and over.

It does kill any tree it travels over as it smothers the light and air away from them. It does cover huge holes in the ground so that if you thought there was land underneath you and walked into a big Kudzu patch, you might fall 1,000 feet or so. Ya never know what's under it. And of course, no one would know you were under it either.

They found one thing that kills it - basically Agent Orange. Seriously, that's it. So we won't be seeing Kudzu go away anytime soon.

It was brought to the South by some Yahoo for erosion issues on hillsides. He is now on the same list as the guy that brought bunnies to Australia.

Yah, THAT list.

If anything stands still long enough - the Kudzu grows over it. Kudzu can grown at the rate of one foot a day, in prime condition. Heck, pour acid over it and it will only slow it down to 3/4 foot a day.

But I personally consider Kudzu a beautification device used only for us in the South. You see, we in the South tend to get a lot of junk. Wrecked cars, deserted mobile homes, dead barns that refuse to fall down, abandoned houses, etc. Well, no one ever deals with this stuff and it just....sits there. But not if the Kudzu gets to it!

Leave it alone for a couple of years and you'll never know it's there! Kudzu is the great, "back to nature" weed. Soon, there is no sign of the dilapidated mobile home that caught fire after Uncle Buckeye built a BBQ too close to the vinyl siding. Yes'm, soon it's a patch of.......ivy stuff. So natural and untarnished. A fine piece of nature.

Now I never, ever, ever step into Kudzu. God knows what's under there. If there's anything under there at all. Some child hid in the Kudzu for 2 days last year and I can't believe anyone ever found him. He obviously never read the story I did about the tiny rat-faced people with spears that live in there. Creepy. I will admit I could probably hear screams in there and would think that person was in for a tough road.... tut tut and then I'd run like hell.

But I think it's really quite pretty as you're driving along not looking at a bunch on junk on the side of the road. You're looking at a natural hedge of beauty... no burnt trailers, no barns falling down, no 1953 Ford that's been there since Aunt Bea forgot that it needed gas to actually run.

I read an article about Kudzu, and this gentleman was complaining that it grew over his car and he had to hack the Kudzu away so that it didn't completely hide the car. Well, all I can say to that is, "Darlin, if the dang car ran and wasn't a giant paperweight for your comic book collection, you wouldn't have this problem."

So leave me my Kudzu. I love it as only a South'ner could. I only see the good.

(I think the North is jealous!)

Go here for a Kudzu education.