I asked the city representatives a few more questions, trying to gain some clarity in what seemed, at best, a deliberately vague situation. They turned to go and Sammi turned back: “There are a number of noxious invasive weeds in the buffer area, and a lot of grass. We’d like to see the grass and weeds eradicated–especially the thistles before they set seed.” Sam and Sammi from the City of Sammamish left.
The woman with the clipboard came over. “I’ve finished listing and charting the plantings and features. I am going to get it over to the city right away so they can sign off. You really should pull those thistles. They can be enormously damaging to an ecosystem like this.” She left and I went in to change, get my shovel and gloves. I wandered about the buffer area, inspecting the plants and looking at the nursery tags. There were so many of them: the freshly dug holes looked like acne spreading across skin…or a pox. With my daughter tagging close behind, I popped the thistle roots with my shovel and gingerly lifted them from the ground. If I didn’t take hold just right the spines bit into my forearms through my shirt. My daughter hates weeds and was disappointed she couldn’t help.