When we first drove our eldest child to school in Alabama, you couldn’t miss the kudzu on the roadside. A climbing vine that looks like a green blanket over all visible vegetation, kudzu was legendarily introduced to the United States at the 1876 World’s Fair Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, and then promoted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a cure for soil erosion. It took on that task with enthusiasm, and some say it can grow as much as a foot per day in the summertime.

A 1963 James Dickey poem, Kudzu, makes the stuff seem downright sinister, but this interesting article from the Smithsonian Magazine suggests that the vine does have its limits.

Nevertheless, a stand of kudzu is an impressive sight, as seen here during a morning walk over by the YMCA in Westlake.

How about a kudzu haiku?

Kudzu, how d’you do?
If I should stand still too long
Would you drape me, too?

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