Ashley Baxstrom: I love summer – you’ve got the ice cream, the green trees, drinking out-of-doors, and the pleasurable sensation of sun bouncing off cement. What little nature we have in New York seems bursting with life, and I can walk through a park and feel, briefly, like I’ve been transported to a leafy paradise.

But the good people of Kinston, North Carolina have me beat.  Residents of the small town have reported that a patch of kudzu growing on a telephone pole isn’t just a viny nuisance – it’s actually the likeness of Jesus Christ on the cross (with image)! Talk about God’s green earth!

Local business owner Kent Hardison of Ma’s Hot Dog stand, a half-mile from the pole, says that he had been planning to spray the growth with herbicide until he noticed the resemblance. He and his customers state they think the vine can be seen as a symbolic reminder that God is watching over us.

I wish I was so lucky – looking out my office window at the small patch of greenery that is Washington Square Park, all I’m symbolically reminded of is the fact that I really ought to go hiking or something.

This isn’t the first time such a growth has elicited such a claim either – a simple Google search of Jesus kudzu results in similar reports from all over the country, and a good deal of images as well. At least the kudzu’s more attractive than Jesus-on-a-sandwich or Madonna-in-a-wall-stain.  Either Jesus isn’t humbled by stains, kudzu or toast or we’re believers with a need for visible reassurance.

Not everybody’s feeling the religion, however – press coverage cites a University of Maryland professor as saying kudzu-damaged lines cost power companies over $1.5 million a year in repairs.  If the vines somehow affect the circuitry and sparks fly, Kingston could have a burning bush on its hands!