Monday, October 26, 2009

"Our Vanishing Landscape"

This is just a few meandering thoughts. There's a conservation organization in a city near us. You don't need to know the name--but you know the type, the kind that asks for donations of land for them to hold in perpetituity in order to escape the dread evil of "our vanishing landscape." That line has always made me laugh--WHAT vanishing landscape? Hell, I live out in the sticks and we got veritable TONS of landscape and as far as I can tell, it is all still there. So, like, what's the problem?

I mean, it sounds like you'd be driving along, and all of a sudden, you wouldn't see fields or farms or woods or trees, you'd just see gray blank walls of nothingness. Right? The landscape would have "vanished." That's what makes me laugh.

I'm poking fun at this silly environmentalist thinking, of course. And I have to say, it seems to me that most "environmentalists," especially those who consider themselves tree-huggers, that they all live in cities. They see sidewalks, streets, buildings--in other words, lots and lots of cement. And that apparently causes a bit of brain dysfunction, because they will believe things like "our landscape is vanishing." They also probably have no idea exactly how much work it takes to maintain cement, to restrain rampant vegetation from simply taking over.

Because, folks, it WILL. All you have to do is STOP all maintainence work on roads, highways, bridges, etc. and pretty soon the whole damn mess of it will simply disappear from view. All you will see is a plethora of, well, "landscape." Vines, trees, loads of my buddies, the weeds, grasses, you name it. Vegetation alone will easily overcome anything we might call a city. Just look at those ruins of cities and temples in South America, easily returned to the jungle by victorious landscape.

If you live out in the country, you've seen dandelions poking their bright, yellow heads right up through pavement on a back country road. In the cities, you see dandelions poking out through cracks in the sidewalk. Of course you have, if you're alert. There's your landscape returning, folks. And if you're a city environmentalist, come out into the country. Hell, we'll be happy to show you that landscape ain't disappearing nohow. It'll rule in the end.

Well, OK. I AM thinking about the "national emergency" Obama just declared to handle the not-a-big-deal-government-produced-and-directed swine flu. And that's bad news. But I can't think about bad news all the time. That's my husband's department. But crisis or no crisis, world-ending or no world-ending, dinner still has to get to the table somehow, and since the sun is shining and it is a beautiful October day, I'd rather be grateful and cheerful, and nothing cheers me up more than to think about dandelions taking over the world after us damn-silly human beings have done ourselves to dirt.

Dandelions Uber Alles!


Anonymous said...

I live in a rural state, where 99% of the landscape is dedicated to either farming or cities and towns.

Went for a walk through some privately-owned forest recently. It was polluted.

Patricia said...

Hey Anon: my brother and I took a long hike on some valley trails yesterday. And even way back in the woods we saw a beer can. We picked it up. Told my brother that it was an invaluable survival tool. And had we been lost in the woods for days, it would have been. Humans are very careless these days--that's why I root for dandelions.

Did it MY way said...

I love dandelions. Remember rubbing them on each others faces? Blowing all the seeds off when they mature? Dandelion salads....and wine. Yah love them dandelions.

See Ya

Anonymous said...

I am in Northern California and we have to actively get open land into conservation trusts... cuz we are getting overrun by developers who split the land into little "ranchettes". I am on 60 acres and back to national forest... lucky on that front, but our small town has grown 4 fold over the last 5 years! I enjoy your blog.

survival chic

sunni said...

Around here, many vehicles sport bumper stickers asserting, "Pavement is forever." I can't help but chuckle every time I see one.

bellanne said...

But the polluted cities were once green landscapes too. and they are expanding. i dont want to offend, but pollution, overpopulation and destruction are real threats. Wanting to protect nature from human greed isn't silly. Living in a country is a wonderful thing on a personal level, but we also need laws that protect that country from greed. Remember America was once all fields and rivers... Things do change. And sometimes they change for the worst.