You'd think that the name would have been enough to warn me.
It didn't, however, and it probably won't stop me in the future either. Hopefully, in the future, though, I'll be a little more careful about limiting my exposure!
What am I talking about? Why Bidens bipinnata, Spanish needles, of course.
Now, every time Becker and Blue go out, they come back covered with those same little, black needles that seem intent on burrowing deep into their fur. The needles drop off onto the floor, ready to impale unsuspecting, bare feet. Sometimes I even have to pick them out of the dogs' coats before I can simply give one of the dogs a pat on the head without skewering myself. Small bowls full of Spanish needles start appearing on my countertops.
Meanwhile, outside, the plants have suddenly gone from glorious, ferny green to scraggly brown...weeds. When I go to pull them out, battling the heat and drought just so that the poor dogs will quit coming inside with their fur full of these little weapons, I find that the plants aren't shy about puncturing my hide from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. It turns out that it's impossible to pull the dead stems of Spanish needles out of the ground without brushing various parts of my anatomy up against those fragile and determined seed heads!
"Carry me away from here!" the seeds plead, while clinging tightly, sometimes painfully, to my clothes and skin and hair. "We're done here! We need some place fresh to establish next year!"
Oblivious to their cries, irritated by their insistence, I can't wait to get all of the Bidens bipinnata plants pulled up and carted out to the burn pile. Clinginess can be so darn unattractive!
So will I let Spanish needles grow up again next year? Greg will tell me I'm nuts if I do. He'll tell you I'm nuts, too!
Well, Greg knows me pretty well. I probably will let the Spanish needles grow again next spring. The lure of the beautiful, fresh green foliage is just so strong in the spring and early summer. Next year, though, I promise myself I'll pull them up as soon as the flowers bloom!
Or at least as soon as the seed heads start pushing out to the plants' perimeter. Assuming, of course, that the heat and drought don't have me totally boxed up inside....