By Carl Flowers
In the mid or late 1990s a woman on the Groton Conservation Commission wanted permission to look over the Mistress's domain. I agreed.
A few hours later the woman was again knocking on the door. She reported that she had identified a rare morning glory, but wouldn't tell of its specific location. The morning glories were under the power lines next to the wall. That was all I needed to know, she said.
Understand, there's about six or seven acres under the power lines and a wall runs along the entire edge of the field as a boundary. Christmas trees were growing in the area and they needed to be maintained.
A couple years latter, the woman was back banging on the door. She asked, didn't I know there were rare morning glories under the power lines next to the wall? Why was I cutting the grass and herbiciding along the wall's edge? I told her there was a lot of land and more than a thousand feet of wall running under the power lines. If she was able to remember, she refused to tell me the exact location of the morning glories.
This time she agreed to show me where the morning glories were growing. She threatened that if I did any more grass cutting or herbiciding around them, I could be facing state and federal fines and possibly jail time.
When the morning glories were first discovered, they numbered less than fifty. Mowing the grass and herbiciding along the wall actually increased the number of rare plants to over 200. What I was doing was broadcasting the seeds with the mower and didn't know it.
After I stopped mowing and herbiciding, they dropped back to less than fifty plants. Within just a few years they were being crowded out by woody vegetation sprouting up around them. l was asked if it would be okay to cut away the woody vegetation. I said it was fine with me. Then, I was asked if I would remove the woody vegetation after it was cut. I said no and declined to take on that expense and extra effort. The woody vegetation remained uncut and grew to a height of more than seven feet. No one looked at the morning glories for quite some time.