Nature Will Not Be Overthrown

Outside, here in central California, on this muggy warm spring day we can pretend that all is well; water is in short supply but we can still water our flowers for now. And flowers, wild and cultivated, are in such frantic bud, so widespread, so sharply in color contrast, you think unavoidably of a very-slow-motion film of fireworks unfolding. The hills are billowy frozen waves of green, stippled with amber-colored California poppies; wallowy waves eternally about to break over our suburban valley. At the base of the hills, numerous wild turkeys are promenading, waddling along making their absurd gobble which seems perfectly dignified to them; so do their splendid fans of tailfeather displays. The hens seem unimpressed.

Tiny beelike insects, which don’t seem bees but which clearly are packing on the pollen–I can see it on their legs–appear to be filling the niche left by the diminished honeybees. They’re an insect called “bee flies”. Real honeybees there are, but fewer than in previous years. Scarcely a breeze at the moment but you can feel the air on your skin as you walk through laterally trailing cottonwood puffs; our wisteria seeming very optimistic in its gush of rather sexy violet catkins. Nature will not be overthrown. Our little human niche may be crushed, humanity overthrown, but not nature.

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