Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bee friendly? Not here

Today is a rainy, cloudy, windy day. Despite that, a crew of two was here to install our new gutters. Now I need to go and buy some splash blocks before we get any serious rain. But first, let me bring you up to date on a couple of items. One is good news, the other, not.

rose-breasted grosbeak at feeder
rose-breasted grosbeak at feeder
Photo by J. Harrington

The local bird population is out in force. At or around the feeders I've see, thus far:
  • bluejays
  • blackbirds
  • rose-breasted grosbeaks
  • goldfinches
  • an oriole
  • a blue bird
  • a hummingbird (male, ruby throated)

bees at U of M hives
bees at U of M hives
Photo by J. Harrington

I'm thinking we need to enjoy the birds and the bees while we still have the chance. Our Minnesota government, to use the term loosely, is in the process of passing legislation to label "pollinator friendly" plants that may have been treated with insecticides that would be considered "friendly" as long as a pollinator doesn't drop dead after one sip of nectar or single load of pollen. So, for one to be a responsible consumer and keep our economy humming, we now have to accept being subject to misinformation campaigns. This seems like an opportunity for right-thinking folks to respond by starting our own on-line list of truly pollinator-friendly sources and tracking pollinator friendly (and unfriendly) legislators. After all, we're now living in the country with the best government money can buy, in a state that allows some mining dischargers to go 23 years or more on an expired water quality permit, with no ending in sight. I wonder if we could raise enough  crowd-sourced funding for a citizen's lawsuit to push that issue along. Does that seem reasonable? It's got to be as important as getting a CD produced or a book published, isn't it, and it's probably more reasonable than starting a local chapter of the Monkey Wrench Gang.


By Randall Mann 

This is what he dreams of:
a map of burned land,
a mound of dirt
in the early century’s winter.

A map of burned land?
A country is razed
in the early century’s winter.
And God descends.

A country is raised
because of industry.
And God descends,
messengers rush inside

because of industry,
in spite of diplomats.
Messengers rush inside
to haunt the darkened aisles.

In spite of diplomats,
the witnesses know well
to haunt the darkened aisles,

the witnesses know well
that ushers dressed in black
lurk by the cushioned seats.

That ushers dress in black
should tell you something:
lurking by the cushioned seats,
the saved and the terrible.

I should tell you something:
this is what he dreams of,
the saved and the terrible—
a mound of dirt.

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Please be kind to each other while you can.