The Attack of the Wild Cucumbers

We often wake in the night wondering:

“What’s that?”

Living next to the Minnesota Mosquito Refuge means that one gets accustomed to strange sounds coming out of the darkness.

The Jurassic cry of a sand hill crane gliding low over our roof.

The shriek of a screech owl diving for a mouse just yards from our bedroom window.

The feeding frenzy of coyotes that is close, way too close.

The bellowing of bulls or the bawling of calves on the distant hillside – making us wonder what terror has aroused them.

But lately another more disquieting sound bends our ears in the night, the crinkling and crackle of wild cucumber vines on the move.

Each night they attack.

Each day we fend them off.

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This stuff was not there yesterday.

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After blanketing the Minnesota Mosquito Refuge, the wild cucumber deluge flows into our yard.

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It sneaks up on our garden

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And climbs the pines, eventually crushing them under its weight.

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Here it has engulfed a bush on the far side of the refuge (about a mile from the house).

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They look innocent up close.

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But given time, even the thinnest slice of time, they will engulf just about anything.

This was once an old milk house, now a sauna. We foolishly encouraged grape vines to grow on it but the wild cucumbers took that as an invitation.  You can see how they have advanced in the distance since the first photo taken a mere fifteen minutes earlier.

I fear the worst.