We planted it for the bees. Five thousand square feet of crimson clover. It’s beautiful. A spot of color in the 20 acres of green. To you, it looks like an ordinary patch of flowering weeds. To me, it’s more.
We planted the clover in the middle of what Dad called the clover field. Ironic, I know. I don’t know the story behind the name. I wish I had asked the story at the same time I asked about the flat field, the big bottom, and the little bottom. That’s what I grew up hearing. Where’s Dad? Checking cows in the big bottom. Where’s the garden? In the little bottom. Do I have to gather corn in the flat field? (Insert whine here.)
I remember the clover field being lush and green and fenced for cows. It was bordered with blackberry covered briars in the summer. Time passed, Dad got older, and the briars moved way beyond the edges. The thorny pear trees multiplied, the privet expanded, limbs collapsed, and the grass smothered beneath the canvas of overgrowth. The clover field turned into a mangled mess.
When David and I bought the family place in 2016, twenty acres of scary jungle came in the package deal. We talked about what to do. We talked about ignoring the mess. Pretend it isn’t there. We could let it continue to be the breeding ground for rattleheadedcoppermoccasins,or we could start the process of clearing. We chose the latter.
It won’t be perfect in our lifetime, but four years later, with the help of massive grinding machines and lots of Huckeby sweat (David’s), crimson clover grows in the middle of the field. I think Dad would be happy the ground is coming back to life.
Sometimes it makes me misty to walk or ride through the clover field. I think of Dad. To you, it looks like an ordinary patch of flowering weeds. To David and me, it’s more.