How to play “being just another species in the field”.

Yesterday we sauntered around seeking signs of autumn. Sometimes, the best way for me to unravel the complications and stresses of ordinary modern life is to just exist as another species in the field. To roam through the grasses and encounter the extraordinaries.

Every little thing bleeds into another. Last year’s lush crop of goldenrod was razed to the ground, leaving only a few only stalks to wave their torches.

Those few remaining goldenrods were almost overwhelmed by bees, darting, sniffing, dancing like wind puppets. How will the decreased goldenrod crop affect the other species of the meadow this month? Next month? Next year?

Change alone is not a tragedy but something to be observed and studied for its effects. Perhaps the sparsity of the goldenrod crop will fail to influence other species in the area…. We learn by looking, watching, and telling the stories.

Nature journals help us to record and keep track of these changes. What is different in your neck of the woods this year? How might it affect other species?

As a family, we adore our botanical haunts- those places we go to find plants, tiny seed pods, and non-human friends. Yet those haunts are increasingly being “developed” in the name of Progress and, well, development. Progress, unlike a good meal, should not be accepted at face value.

So many people perished in the Soviet Union for daring to question the march of Progress. As they stood in block-long bread lines, they accepted the destruction of their communities and the natural environment. The promised Progress led to rapid industrialization which decreased the quality of life and truly alienated communities from the product of their labors. It’s important to understand that Progress means nothing aside from the outcomes for individuals and the environment in which they live and learn.

Somehow, we’ve agreed to let wilderness remain only as a table scrap- something for the dogs or the remaining wild animals. I don’t remember making a conscious decision to destroy wilderness, just as I don’t recall making a decision to cruelly isolate and discourage hopeful American immigrants.

The fact that the policies expressing these decisions were made for me (not by me) offers no comfort. The value of females was not taken seriously until the last hundred years- there are many wonderful amazing things and beings we have yet to find worthy. Are you complicit in the ravages of our natural world subsumed under the name of Progress? If so, what can you do to educate others about the costs?

Journal entry: Thoughts on being just another species in the field. How does my species affect other species in a nearby meadow?