Photo by J. Harrington
As I've read elsewhere, there are a number of non-native or alien species that aren't considered invasive. But, the definitions and the rest of the federal government's white paper are, in my opinion, heavily anthropomorphic. For example, beaver are indigenous to large parts of North America but are also controlled when their dams cause problems for people. we don't call them invasive. I haven't seen, yet, a clear distinction of whether the "economic harm" referred to in some writings does or does not include the cost of control, which, presumably, is a benefit, not a harm, to those who earn their living attempting to control invasive species or troublesome natives. This is likely to get more interesting as climate change alters habitats and events like the Fort McMurray wildfire create large areas of disturbed habitat.
|roadside "rogue" violets|
Photo by J. Harrington
I'm not suggesting that invasive species are good. I am suggesting that we need to place more emphasis on the ecological niches filled by invasive species and any species they're presumed to displace. I'm not sure we'll ever have enough money and inspectors and removal specialists to successfully manage who gets to live where on the whole planet or the whole continent, nor do I believe we have the knowledge or wisdom to do so beneficially, even if we had the resources. If you haven't recently, read or watch The Sorcerer's Apprentice to get a feel for my concerns about our management capabilities. I suspect it might not be too difficult to find a number of folks who would argue that one of the most harmful alien species to invade North America is the W.A.S.P., followed by Kentucky Blue Grass.
The Wooden Overcoat
By Rick BarotIt turns out there’s a difference between a detailand an image. If the dandelion on the sidewalk ismere detail, the dandelion inked on a friend’s bicepis an image because it moves when her body does,even when a shirt covers the little thorny black sunon a thin stalk. The same way that the bar codeon the back of another friend’s neck is just a detail,until you hear that the row of numbers underneathare the numbers his grandfather got on his armin a camp in Poland. Then it’s an image, somethingactivated in the reader’s senses beyond mere fact.I know the difference doesn’t matter, except in poetry,where a coffin is just another coffin until someoneat a funeral calls it a wooden overcoat, an imageso heavy and warm at the same time that you forgetit’s about death. At my uncle’s funeral, the coffinwas so beautiful it was like the chandelier lightingthe room where treaties are signed. It made me thinkof how loved he was. It made me think of Shoshonefunerals, where everything the dead person ownedwas put into a bonfire, even the horse. In that lastsentence, is the horse a detail or an image? I don’treally know. In my mind, a horse is never anywherenear a fire, and a detail is as luminous as an image.The trumpet vine on the sagging fence. The clothesin the fire. And each tattoo that I touch on your back:the three-part illustration of how to use chopsticks,the four-leaf clover, the clock face stopped at 12:05.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.