Friday, April 24, 2015

Going local

Spring supposedly moves north at something like 15 miles per day (I've seen 13 to 16 listed on web sites). That may explain something I noticed yesterday. In mid-day, I was at William O'Brien State Park. The marsh marigolds there were in bloom and looked like this. Can you see the little bits of yellow blossoms?

marsh marigolds in bloom
marsh marigolds in bloom
Photo by J. Harrington

Later in the day, I checked a nearby wetland behind the house. The marsh marigolds there were still closed, with no yellow noticeable, as you may be able to see.

pre-bloom marsh marigolds
Photo by J. Harrington

I don't think the difference was due to local late afternoon sun rather than mid-day sun at the state park. We're about 15+ miles north of William O'Brien. I'll check this weekend and let you know if the local flowers have started to bloom. I'm not sure about relative differences in elevation, although that's another factor that affects Spring's movement. It's nice to sometimes have an opportunity to check a rule of thumb and find that it seems to fit reality.

It's also worth noting how sensitive nature is to local conditions. Do you suppose adaptation to local conditions has something to do with her ability to be resilient and adaptable? Is it too big a stretch to compare nature's local sensitivity to the banks and cable companies many have judged "too big to fail?" Local economies that are excessively dependent on one or two global markets can suffer severely if that global market has a downturn. Why local leaders would want to increase that dependency is beyond me. One of the basic lessons in business, I thought, is never let one client be responsible for the majority of your income. South St. Paul learned that about stockyards. The St. Croix River valley doesn't produce much timber these days. Northern Minnesota needs unpolluted lakes and rivers (and broadband) to reduce its dependence on the boom and bust of global economies. Edward Abbey had a rule of thumb about living locally: 
“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”

― Edward Abbey, The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West


National Poetry Month

All Trains Are Going Local

By Timothy Liu 
Slowing down your body enough to feel.

Thought you were at a standstill
but you were only slowing down enough

to feel the pain. There are worse things

than running to catch the train, twisting
your ankle, the afternoon fucked.

Running to get to or away from?


the stranger who helps you up
wants to know, you who are so used to

anything scribbled on a prescription blank.

Just want the pain to go away, you say,
surprised to find yourself

reaching for someone else's hand.


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