|roadside whitetail in Autumn|
Photo by J. Harrington
Being able to enjoy, with some frequency, observations of wildlife is one of the reasons we live where we do. It also helps explain why we're more lax than advisable in the application of deer repellents. Living with nature helps teach us how to share, although the share we retain is often less than we might hope for, the alternative would too frequently be a diminished, sometimes severely, local population of species we enjoy. Have you noticed that nature tries to provide substantial redundancy in her systems?
Photo by J. Harrington
There are many pollinators and many different plants that need pollination. Rarely do we encounter a monoculture in a natural environment. Variety and redundancy are healthier and more resilient. I doubt that natural systems support "lean supply chains," although often there's just in time, or almost in time, delivery. Bee populations are reported to be affected by neonicotinoids. Monarch butterflies are reported to lack sufficient milkweed to thrive, but planting some milkweed species contributes to monarch's problems. Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources is investigating how better to work with local communities to keep whitetail herds, and habitat, healthier.
My major interest in phenology is not so much how existing patterns are changing due to climate change, but to become more aware of the relationships among patterns, such as goldfinches late season breeding so thistle seeds are available. It helps me feel more at home and lets me begin to recognize my own home range, my place in the world and who my neighbors really are, human and other.
Heaven for Stanley
For his birthday, I gave Stanley a hyacinth bean,
an annual, so he wouldn’t have to wait for the flowers.
He said, Mark, I have just the place for it!
as if he’d spent ninety-eight years
anticipating the arrival of this particular vine.
I thought poetry a brace against time,
the hours held up for study in a voice’s cool saline,
but his allegiance is not to permanent forms.
His garden’s all furious change,
budding and rot and then the coming up again;
why prefer any single part of the round?
I don’t know that he’d change a word of it;
I think he could be forever pleased
to participate in motion. Something opens.
He writes it down. Heaven steadies
and concentrates near the lavender. He’s already there.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can