Friday, May 14, 2010

From lovely woodlands without deer problems

It's been a stupid awful week. The entire food web is collapsing on the coast, and industry officials are thinking so creatively that I expect them to throw a bunch of old refrigerators and burned out cars into the water to plug the leak. Really, putting up entire walls of rip rap (that no one has any plans of removing, I'm sure) so that you'll flood out the marshes in an effort to keep a liquid out? Nesting Wilson's plovers are toast. And no one is hearing about the kidney and liver problems most of the coast-dwelling birds have developed from eating contaminated fish. Cnidaria are dying from all the chemicals various companies are throwing into the water willy nilly, and without jellies, you can say goodbye to Kemp's ridleys and hawksbills. But the brown pelicans, the poor dears, just nesting innocently on the lower Chandeleur Islands, their populations rebounding ever slowly to almost being delisted. Huh, not anymore. Red tide doesn't have anything on the BP Oil Spill.

And, inevitably, WNS is now documented from the Ozarks (not that I thought the Pike Co. animal was an anomaly) on an endangered species who was recovering so nicely from years of mismanagement of caves. Just when locals stopped setting raging spring bonfires in maternity caves...

So I'll step back to last week, before Louisiana, when I spent two late afternoon days with a darling old colleague and her gut laugh stomping through her beautifully managed woodlands all aflush in a heterogeneous matrix of nice blooming forbs. It's only on occasion these days that I've visited woodlands without browse lines, woodlands without every single cotton picking forb clipped off mid-stem. Two days in nice, calming, pleasing, aesthetic and biodiverse woodlands full of warbling warblers and dappled sunlight. Pure respite. Just a bunch of pictures in nice light, all for you Denise.

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