No, not the TV show. Just the nemesis of my summer and the subject of a couple of the few-in-number blog posts I’ve been able to scrounge up in the past months. Today, though, I’m going to be talking about some of the weeds that we find inside the rice paddies, not the ones I’m in constant battle with outside around the edges.
For the most part, weeds aren’t a huge problem for the rice paddies. For the non-organic fields we give them a good dousing of weed-killer while we’re planting the rice and that usually does the trick for 95 percent of the rice paddy’s area. There are a couple kinds that are kind of stubborn and hide out along the sides of the paddy, but they’re easily pulled out (another fun reason to get into the mud with your bare feet). A couple kinds will defy the death sentence of the weed-killer and grow out in the middle of the field, but these are sparse and easily found and pulled out as well. Let’s take a look at a couple of the kinds of weeds one might see inside the rice paddy.
The first is…well, actually, I have no idea what it’s name is, so lets call him Bob. This is Bob.
Bob’s a little hard to see in that picture (I need to get an actual camera instead of relying solely on my phone-camera if I’m gonna keep being picture heavy in this blog) but he’s the one with the star-shaped leaves and vines moving from the clump on the left toward the rice on the right. Bob’s pretty easy to spot and easy to pull out. If left to his own devices he’ll send his long arms along the floor out into the middle of the paddy. Bob is like a first level boss: once you know his trick, you can kill him with your eyes closed.
Next up is…um, Edith.
I don’t need to point out the Edith here, do I? Edith is a little more robust than Bob. And sometimes you can find her in the middle of the paddy, while Bob confines himself to the edges. Edith has a thick stalk that is easy to grab hold of and pull up out of the mud. The only problem is that she tends to bring up a lot of dirt and mud with her roots, so you have to clean that off before you eject her from the paddy (don’t want to lose that precious mud!). If left alone, Edith can grow pretty tall and can mess with the combine if still around during harvest time.
Next up is Olivia.
Olivia is a mid-level boss: kinda reminds you of a lower-level boss, but has some more power, and is a fun challenge that is overcome with ease once you practice enough. Olivia likes Bob’s style of spreading out his arms, but not his choice to stay on the edges. Olivia likes Edith’s height, but not so much the thickness of her limbs. Olivia can be found along the edges and out towards the middle of the paddy and has some long arms that grow upwards and some that grow along the ground snaking through the rice. Olivis is easy to pull out, but, like Edith, will bring a lot of mud with her and her leaves give little paper cuts if you grab her the wrong way. I don’t really like Olivia.
Next up is Cecil.
You can see Cecil there hanging out with Edith. Cecil loves to hang out with Edith, so you’ll often find these two together. But Cecil does like his alone time, which he usually spends on the edges or in the corner (he love, love, loves the corner). Cecil is that mid-level boss that you wonder who’s relative he is to be at such a level when he should be much lower. His roots aren’t very strong, he doesn’t grow very high. But he does like to spread what he’s got. You can’t pull up Cecil in one hand like you can Bob or Edith or Olivia. You gotta use two hands and usually go back for seconds and thirds to get rid of Cecil. He loves the paddy. Doesn’t want to leave.
Last (for the purposes of this entry…there are a couple other weeds that I don’t have pics of) but not least is the rice’s mortal enemy: this one I do know the name of (Hie), but I will call him Tim.
You’ll notice (maybe not, since the picture resolution isn’t that great) that the rice has a little fur collar around where their stalks split into two. Tim doesn’t have this. Nor does Tim produce rice, but you don’t know that until it’s too late! But at the early stages Tim and rice look really really similar. And Tim grows anywhere that rice grows. Tim wants to be rice so bad. So bad! But he must be stopped! Tim is sneaky and Tim is strong. If left alone Tim is a tough bugger to pull out when he’s finally found. And if you’re not careful in pulling him out, he leaves his roots in the mud to rise again when you’re not looking. Take a look at this next picture. Can you spot the rice and Tim?
So, anyway, those are some of the weeds I see in the fields. Next time I will post some pics of our organic fields to see how the weeds look there.
Oh, and I’ll do the peanut-butter onigiri post sometime soon too. I haven’t forgot!