Saturday, March 9, 2013

To conserve and protect

© harrington
© harrington
Welcome. Thanks for coming. So far today we've had mostly rain. Roads tonight should be interesting when the temperature drops, as it will. The pictures up top show the red osier dogwood cuttings I collected awhile ago. The cuttings aren't vibrating and my hands weren't shaking badly when I took the pictures. I just didn't account for the effects of the shadows against the white walls when I released the shutter. I'm really hoping that these cuttings will develop roots and become suitable for planting in a damp spot in the back yard. Meanwhile, the vibrant red adds a nice touch of color to the house. Maybe, in addition to roots, I'll get to see some green if leaves develop. Spring in My Minnesota has lots of brown and tan for a long time before green starts to appear. By the way, when I took the cuttings, I didn't pull the whole plant out by it's roots; I took only a few from each plant; and I knew they weren't a threatened, endangered or species of special concern, unlike the Minnesota Dwarf Trout Lily, our only endemic plant species. It occurs in only one watershed, three counties, somewhere we haven't yet plowed or paved for some other purpose. I wonder how it will fare as Minnesota's climate warms and the native species from here migrate north while those south of us move in. How much do you like Minnesota as it is today? Are you willing to change, not give up, but do differently, to protect it? We have, as I see it, been coming at the questions of environmental protection and climate change all wrong. It's like the difference between working harder versus working smarter. Using fewer resources to produce better "things" that last longer and are repairable means lots of changes in the way we do business. It doesn't mean that our quality of live is diminished. Just the opposite. Some time ago, I made reference to the short-sightedness of burning down the house to try to stay warm. I didn't think it was a good idea then. I still don't. Fracking sand mining, groundwater mining, sulfide mining, agriculture as an extractive industry (mining the soil) won't produce long term sustainable employment. I remember the loggers on the west coast complaining about protecting the spotted owl costing them jobs. I never did see a realistic response to what they expected to do for jobs after the old growth forests were gone. If a water-rich state like Minnesota is facing water shortages because we mismanaged our resources, I think we can do much, much better. The Minnesota I moved to many years ago to pride in being a state that works. Is that reputation too hard for us to maintain? I don't think so but evidence to the contrary is adding up. I hope I've made you think and that will make you want to stop back again. Rants and raves served daily.