Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Man-Made "Natural" Place

 I'm wrestling with ideas about what can be called "wild" or "wilderness" or even "natural" as we find ourselves experiencing "The Sixth Extinction."  I'm hoping we can begin to have more nuanced conversations about our past perceptions and treatment of the land, water, and sky, rather than continue the quick, blunt conversations (especially typical of Congress and political campaigns these days) that assume there are just two sides to every question and that every comment is either right or wrong.  The above photo shows Dellinger's Pond in early June during a fourth consecutive year of drought.  I have some older photos of the pond when it was mostly full of water and had very little floating vegetation.  Since this photo was taken, the pond has dried up further and hardly any exposed water is visible from the shore.
The second photo shows the gate and a stretch of dam that was cleared of most non-native vegetation this spring by a college class working to "restore" the place to something closer to "natural."  In the two months since I took the photo, the weeds have grown back with a vengeance (a 'color' word, for sure) and the Tansy and Thistles range from knee to waist high.  This is a great place to observe and ponder what you may love or hate about weeds.  It's also a great place to ponder different ideas about what constitutes a weed and what might be an appropriate relationship with such plants.

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