Saturday, June 20, 2015

Nature's utility

The rain that fell around here last night and this morning gave the new plantings and the transplants a soaking I'm sure was good for them. The fields are about as pretty as they were last year, when we were delighted at how Mother Nature was making The Property look as nice as possible for the upcoming wedding. A larger version of this picture would show the details of the purple vetch and the hoary alyssum, looking as if Mother Nature wanted to be a pointillist painter.

meadow beauty
Photo by J. Harrington

When I was young, I started paying attention to nature because I wanted to learn to fish. My interests were heavily utilitarian. If knowing something wasn't going to help me catch more, bigger or "better" (pan fish to game fish) fish, I had more important things to learn. In hindsight, I can see that the saying "we get too soon old and too late smart" applies to my naturalist education. I'm slowly correcting both my knowledge and my attitude. I hope enough others will learn that nature, at its least utilitarian, offers the gifts of beauty and tranquility. The more I look around these days, the more sure I am we could all use more beauty and tranquility in our lives. Paying more attention to the natural world and how I fit into it also helps me learn to appreciate what's offered instead of being frustrated I can't find what I think I want.

Terminator Too

By Tom Clark 
Poetry, Wordsworth
wrote, will have no
easy time of it when
the discriminating

powers of the mind
are so blunted that
all voluntary
exertion dies, and

the general
public is reduced
to a state of near
savage torpor, morose,

stuporous, with
no attention span
whatsoever; nor will
the tranquil rustling

of the lyric, drowned out
by the heavy, dull
of persons in cities,

where a uniformity
of occupations breeds
cravings for sensation
which hourly visual

communication of
instant intelligence
gratifies like crazy,
likely survive this age.

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