We used to consider those unwanteds as liabilities, but now we welcome them as assets. For instance, in our yard grows a choke cherry, a tree thought of as a weed in most settings. This tree is a host for the swallowtail butterfly which lays her eggs on the leaves and whose caterpillars consume it as youngsters.
In addition, the choke cherry is routinely the recipient for tent caterpillars. Many home owners burn these ugly larvae from their trees, however they attract and feed Baltimore Orioles. We love the sight and the sounds of these flashy orange visitors. They are beautiful in color and their flute-like melodies are joyous.
There are even more many “lemonade” plants, we now view appreciatively. Over the years we have discovered how the multi-flora rose provides winter food and nesting spots for our feathered friends. The quaking aspen supplies us with peppery-tasting oyster mushrooms. The young shoots of Japanese knotweed are an alternative to asparagus and treat Lyme disease. The early dandelion leaves provide a spring salad full of Vitamin C and the flowers feed the honeybees.
Even animals can satisfy as a “lemony” refreshment. We gladly give wasps and hornets their freedom to fulfill the purpose of eating aphids and houseflies. Snakes are welcome to devour slugs, insects, and mice. Spiders take care of sixty percent of the insect pests allowing us more fresh fruit and vegetables.
The positive attributes of God’s creation quench our thirst as we drink His lemonade with gusto.