Tuesday, September 2, 2014

a D(e)arth (of in)Vaders?

I've decided that, if the weather in Minnesota were always like it is today, I'd make the sacrifice of losing four seasons and just learn to settle for perfection. The humidity is down, there's a light breeze, a few puffy clouds and mid-day temps in the mid 70s. The breeze might make fly-fishing more challenging than I'd like, and as I learned over the weekend, it can mess up taking still photos of wild flowers, especially closeups. Once again, though, it would probably be worth adapting to, except for a couple of weeks at Christmas, when up to 4" of snow would be permitted, to be gone shortly after New Years Day. Even (especially?) with Anthropogenic Climate Disruption, that's not likely to happen, so let's move on.

an outbreak of common tansy
Photo by J. Harrington

My Better Half was really happy when I confirmed her suspicion that the yellow flowers pictured are common tansy. According to the good folks at Minnesota Wildflowers, tansy is invasive and on its way to being listed as noxious. I will, no doubt, get a lot of environmentalists upset at me but, when I take the long and broad view of evolution, it seems to me that life itself is what's invasive. Life tries to make a go of it in every nook and cranny of this planet, from deep ocean trenches to glaciers, and just about everywhere in between. Life may even have preceded an oxygen-rich climate, which, I think, would have made oxygen producers an invasive species, without which we wouldn't be here as we are today. I realize invasive species are disruptive and can be detrimental to current ecosystems. I just question if combating invasive species is an appropriate priority warranting dedicated resources, given our apparent determination to wipe out most of our existing ecosystems with "productive" monoculture. Maybe we could consider a broader scale transformation to make our relationship with the earth and our fellow inhabitants less hostile in general? Just askin'. I think, I hope, Howard Moss would know what I'm talking about. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section.

Another Life

By Howard Moss 

There might be the quibble of birds and the swag
Of a river and a distantly belled
Altar of animals, softly spoken;
Certainly cattail, sumac, and fern
Would rise from the marshes nearby, revealed
In forms too perfect to envy trees—
Not trying for larger and larger keepsakes.

Cryptic and subtle green, hedgerows
Hiding mysterious deer, the start
Of a rabbit, as if towers and clouds
Had suddenly shadowed an open field—
These would be the events of the day,
Life having narrowed down to please
Natural hungers and thirsts, the grass
Thick at our feet, and, above our heads,
The stars, their fireworks anemones.

What shall I say of the house? Or you?
Only industrious ghosts would know
How lazily cropping up the view
Would make the impossible possible;
Nothing but weekdays would blankly graze
On time’s oblivious pastures, free
At last of motive and thought, and we,
Becoming ourselves so naturally,
Would never say, looking up at the sky,
Another life is shining in the sky.

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Please be kind to each other while you can.