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The Gearboat Chronicles

Noxious Weeds: We’re Coming Right For You

Morgan and I will be piloting a fearless band of weed sprayers down amongst unwanted foliage of the lower Grande Ronde River.

Last week we were looking to identify the happy homes of the rare Bartonberry. This week, a mercenary strike force designed to kill invasive species.

Just a heads-up: if you’re a plant, you’d best stay on our good side. I’m just saying.

Here’s a few kodachromes taken last year about this time as we were conducting similar business.

Note the full, robust, old-growth quality of these thistle. Or thistles. Thistlez? I think just thistle. That sounds plural enough.

Insider tip on running a weed spraying raft: a five gallon bucket is key. Have it up in the nose of your boat so the wands of the backpack sprayers can ride in the bucket and you don’t get blue-tinted chemical spritzed all around the raft.

I saw a guy slip trying to get back in the boat last year with his backpack sprayer, and in the act of catching himself he squeezed the rope running around the raft – which is good, as it kept him from sliding in the water….but he still had the spray handle in his grip as he squeezed, which shot a fountain of poison all over himself and….well, that’s a poor example. Usually this weed spraying operation is seamless.