You know, I’ve often wondered, if someone decided to live quietly in the strip between the north and south bound lanes of the Garden State Parkway, how long it would take the police to notice it. There are spots where the distance between the two sets of lanes is rather large.
When we lived in Va, we had a big open field about a mile from the house. Probably about 20 acres plus, with a creek along one side. In Virginia, God waters on a regular basis about every three days or so, and stuff grows like crazy. The field looked so puffy…
The reason it looked so puffy was due to the growth of honeysuckle vine and blackberry bushes. Every year, the blackberry bushes would sprout straight up with long branches 3-4 ft long. They rapidly outgrew the honeysuckle, which in that area is an invasive weed. (not so in California, where you have to go to a plant nursery to find them and people actually pay _money_ to do so!) Like the tortoise and the hare, however, the honeysuckle just kept vining along, and soon climbed up the blackberry branch and reached out to find something else to cling to. Sometimes it found another vine or another branch and sometimes not, but eventually, it would outweigh the blackberry branch and would bend it over with it’s weight. Then like any uncaring clambering creature trying to ascend on the shoulders of another, it would just keep growing and pressing the blackberry vine down.
This made for the puffy look…and a great place for snakes. Maybe. I don’t know if they were really there, but I sure didn’t know that they weren’t. You sort of stepped from hole to hole in the vegetation, trying not to get speared by the blackberry vines which had _nasty_ stickers…all the way up the stems and even on the centerline down the back of the leaves. And we always took the dogs…figured they’d bounce around and any self-respecting snake would hightail it out of there. If a snake can hightail it anywhere… It definitely worked. We never saw a snake.
Where I live now, the berries are mostly red raspberries, and they’re grown in militarily disciplined fashion in white plastic quonset huts, secured on wires with space between the rows for the pickers. More and more acreage is being put into these these things. It takes a _bunch_ of money – they put in water lines deep in the ground for the whole field to be irrigated with drip irrigation (we’re talking fields of 50 to 100 acres plus), then drip lines, then posts on which support wires are installed, then the posts for the overhead plastic, then the aluminum hoops that support the plastic, then the plastic, then the bungee cording that secures the plastic from the winds. They tend to do this in at least three divisions in the field, which apparently gives them year round production for 2-4 years before they rip it all out and start all over again. Remember all that when you’re paying $3.99 for a little tray of raspberries!