This is our yard on round-up…

This is the view we see from all of the windows at the back of our house… (click photo to enlarge)

Our 96 year old landlady is scared of fires, so she hired someone to spray the entire backyard with round-up and kill all of the plants in our backyard. This is heartbreaking to us for so many reasons.

And on a rainy day like today, I especially wonder what the effect of the poison will be to the 50+ robins who have descended on our mud flat.

The robins come to gobble up the worms, who emerge out of the ground to escape the excess water, that would normally be absorbed by the roots of the plants, but because there are no plants, the worms have nowhere to hide, therefore the worms are easy targets for the robins… and the robins are psyched.

But little do the robins know that the worms have been wallowing in poison for the last three months… so our little story does not have a happy ending… not yet anyway.

It is time for us to speak up.

“UNLESS someone like you… cares a whole awful lot… nothing’s going to get better… It’s not.” – The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss

(Sorry for the downer post… if you need a pick-me-up go click on the video of the bouncing lambs… that should do the trick.)

About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

All posts by paige green →


  1. that’s awful Paige. You should protest if she tries to do it again. Surely cutting the grass short should be enough!


  2. I don’t get it….How is she able to do anything to your yard!? I am waiting for the happy ending.

    xo, Terri


    1. Never mind, just reread your post. I didn’t see LAND lady before…..


  3. For all the implications you mentioned, Round Up and ANY other pesticide including using toxic chemicals in your washer, sink, fruit trees, etc., is a BAD, BAD idea. It contaminates our ground water and the lil’ critters. You must speak-up Paige, maybe she just doesn’t know any better, it’s certainly worth a shot.


  4. it’s not a downer post, it’s just a downer fact.
    sometimes i feel like all our efforts to green the earth fall on so many deaf ears, it’s like struggling uphill. or like being a worm, wallowing in poisen for months and months and years and years. somedays it feels like it’s too much work. though i don’t plan to give up…


  5. […] (The view of my backyard, spring 2010. Photographed on my Rolleiflex) […]


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