Posts Tagged: nature

Aug 18


Gaia is armed. We humans have guns, and bullets and flamethrowers and polluting factories and bombs. But the totality of Earth’s natural creative force, which some call Gaia, has other weapons to fight with. Gaia, once named “mother nature”, has hurricanes and tornadoes; Gaia has earthquakes and volcanic explosions and torrents of rain and tsunamis and blistering heat and icy nights and rising seas; she has plants that evolve to resist herbicides and insects that evolve to resist pesticides and bacteria that evolve to resist antibiotics.

Gaia has invasive species and expanding zones of toxic algae and northward traveling tropical mosquitoes and killer bees and every form of extreme weather and hot winds sewn with toxins; she has coyotes and bears and cougars and transplanted anacondas that infiltrate cities. She has sharks increasingly crowding our shores, and she has fire ants and secretly germinating viruses.

She has teeth. Never forget–Gaia has teeth. And we have made her very angry.

Mar 15

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.