Saturday, December 8, 2012

So, we're getting less relevant?!!!

 At least that's what Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.  Rural dwellers are becoming less relevant.  Admittedly, he was bemoaning the declining influence of the small part of our population who live where our farmers live.  Yes, we're so irrelevant that we keep our doctors in giant shipping containers.
                  We dwellers in rural outposts have nothing to do but watch hummingbirds hover ...
                                          assassin bugs dining on pollen....

 and sharing their bounty with other bugs.  We get to watch these things on daisies in our front yards and on roadsides, that is, when we're wise enough not to kill them off with herbicides and pesticides.
 We can be a cultural reservoir of people who recognize and appreciate nature's bounty, perhaps actually listening to the hummingbird's wings hum, if we're wise enough not to wear headphones on our walks. 
 and see even more wonders if we remember to look underneath the blossoms.
 We get to see enough bright blue sky that it occurs to us to protect it from pollution.  We don't always remember this because we still have a bit of that ages-old tendency to assume nature's purification system is of infinite capacity.  At least we see an abundance of stars, planets, and meteors at night and wonderful sunrises and sunsets at dawn and dusk, and not take them for granted.
 We routinely see unbelievably beautiful insect architecture, that is, when we really look.
 We can enjoy butterfly migrations, the maturation and metamorphosis of caterpillars, and learn to distinguish butterflies from moths and discover that in-between group known as skippers...
and as my friend Spencer Dykstra does, look very closely at flowers and share their wondrous qualities with others through amazing photographs. [I zoomed in on Spencer's photo of Mountain Pride Penstemon because I just love the details on the sepals and buds and wish I could spend a little time as an insect visitor in order to see more than I'm capable of as a human, maybe including a wider visible spectrum than I have.  And who knows what I might hear, taste and smell if I could get that close.
Yes, if Mr. Vlisack believes the people in the land of concrete and steel, of smog and noise, and of traffic madness and no stars, are more relevant that we rural folk, I feel sorry for our future.  Mr. Vlisack has done some good things, no doubt, but he also gave a speech early this year in support of "pink slime."  Check it out!  I don't want him in charge of my foo supply, much less my air and water.

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