The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

May 31, Ascension Day Holy Communion,
7 PM Centray Daylight Time
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Most Bugs, Most Debris, Most Flowers

Sassy knows this is true.

When the Nile River flooded each year, in ancient times, the earthworms were ready. A long account shows how their presence let the water  seep into the soil and leave behind tons of organic matter to add to the soil. No earthworm could be harmed in Cleopatra's Egypt, and that country fed Rome for centuries.

Our area was flooded, although Northwest Arkansas escaped most of the damage that others have faced. Johnson Crick was raging one day but ordinary the next day. The waters have move downstate.

Our backyard was completely underwater, with the overflow passing between the homes and going down the driveways into the cul-de-sac, the water draining from there into Scott. I drove through Lake Gideon, the spot that always floods on Scott, then recedes to help me measure soil moisture. The lake overflowed and created a secondary lake in the intersection. And yet it rained.

I found 17 inches of rain in our barrels, which were not under the eaves, but holding down the cardboard for the Wild Garden. When the rain turned to mist the last day, our backyard emerged before the neighbor's. Mrs. Ichabod said, "Naturally, all your organic matter is absorbing it like a sponge."


The organic matter includes all the logs on the ground, the wood and paper and cardboard mulch, the leaves, the earthworms and all soil creatures, plus the micro-organisms that depend on water to grow and thrive.

The Creation Garden absorbs a vast amount of water, and keeps the topsoil, because the soil is expertly tunneled and filled with organic material that grabs and holds water. Has anyone every raked leaves from concrete and found the surface dry? Or pulled dry leaves from the gutter? I rest my case.

A bag of dry leaves - almost weightless. A bag of damp leaves - backbreaker. Judge - "You have proven your case. Move on or face disciple."

Dampness draws bugs, keeping them watered and fed. If you want a bug-free environment, move to Phoenix, where the mosquitoes need water flasks and the clay soil bakes as if in a kiln.

Buggy is good, because that indicates a vitality of life in the soil that holds all the good elements in the root zone. The academic field is agog about diversity and diversity training, but that is selective diversity, which only tolerates its own kind, decidedly to the Left of Mao and Castro.

ELCA, WELS, LCMS, and others are being paid to promote multi-culturalism under the same banner. But they despise European culture and wish to replace Bach with hideous rock bands, a bad choice on many levels.

God's diversity constantly builds while increasing fertility. I coveted my neighbor's leaves, too far away to obtain easily - not to mention the stares and eyeballs rolling upward. Instead, my neighbor's friends tossed bags over the fence, at my request. Spring approaches - I will more then.

The error of bagged fertilizer is that it costs too much, smells horrid, and does very little before passing into the water table. Nitrogenated grass needs more water and more mowing, and therefore more expensive fertilizer. Bah.

God's little creatures are doing something marvelous all year around, though more in the warmer seasons. They are freely exchanging nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and those trace elements loved by plants. In doing so they leave them available for fungus to reach out and deliver them to the root hairs. Those root hairs represent thousands of miles of chemical recipients. That is why established plants and perennial weeds do so well.

They also balance each other's populations. No yard will ever be all slugs, all earthworms, or all spiders. They prey upon each other - and cover your eyes - even each other. The best pest killers often prey upon each other, the end result being a stronger and healthier population.

This is God's Creation plan, which people cannot appreciate or  duplicate. Man-made organizations work at control and sameness. Everyone must think the same and the bosses must control everything. The biggest bullies win, and the most facile liars are rewarded. Thus the established denominations are tanking faster than Jeb Bush's campaign.

God's Creation is now at work rotting all the mulch and the logs resting on the ground. I sinned when I hauled away too many logs from the back yard. A log on the soil is a paradise for toads, attracting food and providing shade. Birds love to rest on logs to preen and look for movement on the ground. Pounce - another grub is devoured. Now I look for logs and stumps to garnish the Jackson Bird Paradise and to frame gardening areas.

My first lesson in log = toad came when I moved one and the largest toad I ever saw sat there, unmoved, wondering why I adjusted his shelter. I put the log back and vowed to obtain many more.

The annual plants are rotting their roots into the soil, which is also good. I never touched a dandelion herb all summer. Some popped up in the rose gardens to offer a yellow and green decoration, a place for birds to get fluff for their nests, and a powerful taproot to bring up calcium in organic form.

Gardeners - put down those egg shells. Eggshells benefit birds (see link) and earthworms (see this Uncle Jim link) but not the soil directly. As you might guess, feeding the birds and earthworms will eventually help unlock the calcium in egg shells for the soil to use. Dandelions do that all the time by growing and shedding leaves. And dandelions are among the most nutritious herbs you can grow without even trying. And yet you yank those herbs from the ground and jump up and down on egg shells to "feed the soil." Save energy for composting and mulching, please.



So my dandelions - a protected plant in our yard - rotted into the soil or perhaps lived to grow bigger this season. A landscaper taught me years ago to cut junk bushes off at soil level rather than try to pull them. That normally eliminates a woody plant. Low growing weeds get the cardboard, newspaper, and wood mulch treatment. Thus odious weeds become delightful compost on the spot.

I use no toxins in my yard, so Mrs. Ichabod loves the dandelion greens. She has no doubts about eating something with pesticide or herbicide on it, and dandelions are especially good when fresh.

Here are the benefits of my year-around Creation program:

  • The work and the management is done for me by God's creatures.
  • Topsoil stays in place rather than running down into the street.
  • Wind erosion is limited.
  • Soil creatures hold a vast amount of moisture to help plants during drought.
  • Birds are attracted, and they beautify the yard while preying on pests.
  • The chemicals needed by plants are kept in the rootzone instead of being washed into the water table.
  • Roses grow splendidly without much work and with very little pest damage. The pest eaters have a happy home where they grow future generations for me.
  • Roses even grow under the maple tree, because they get the moisture and food they need.
  • Pruning roses mean that I have plenty to share with neighbors, doctors, friends.
  • Butterflies and hummingbirds are visiting the garden and will increase as their favorite foods grow and multiply.


Autumn Leaves, by Norma Boeckler