Almost exactly 3 years ago — on May 21, 2013 — I posted a story about bamboo.
To the long list of natural disasters afflicting Westport — hurricanes, deer, drivers with no brains — add one more: bamboo.
The imported plant is incredibly invasive. Its stems are dense. Its leaves grow 35 feet or more. It spreads underground, overpowering sidewalks, fences and stone walls.
Caryn Rickel of the Institute of Invasive Bamboo Research (!) told the Connecticut Post, yellow grove bamboo is “the worst alien invader that the USA has ever encountered.”…
The Post story notes that Westport is “home to several astonishing mini-forests of yellow groove bamboo. If your only experiences with the plant are the torches at your neighbor’s tiki party, you’re in for a jaw-dropping experience.”
From Ambler Road to Turkey Hill, Green’s Farms to the shopping center next to Mitchell’s, bamboo was taking over Westport.
That was then. Three years later, alert “06880” reader Art Schoeller writes that since January, as he bikes and drives around town, all he sees is dying bamboo.
It’s happening on his property. It’s happening on Turkey Hill South and Greens Farms Road. Wherever the “worst alien invader” once was, it’s now met its match.
Art does not know the reason. He is sure some bamboo-lovers are upset. Others are thanking whatever god they pray to.
But lurking beneath the surface (ho ho) is this question: Why?
Is this sudden bamboo scourge good? Or — like the great bee die-off — might it portend a great ecological or environmental disaster?
If you know anything about bamboo, click “Comments.” Art — and the rest of “06880” — would love to learn more.