In a broadly defined sense a paradigm is : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind. I’ve been contemplating John J. Ewel’s definition of “restoration” all week trying to resolve the cognitive dissonance in my head regarding the use of poison to wage a “war on weeds”. We know how the “war on drugs” and the “war on poverty” turned out. Can we poison our way out of this invasive species mess? Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
My metaphor only works if you view invasive species as a kind of environmental poison. The work of The Creator was “altered”, by the White European invasive species, and now we confront the reality. Do we simply let nature run its course and allow a new equilibrium amongst the invasive and native plants to emerge? Or, do we intervene, as if in some kind of archaic revival, and try to “restore” an ideal?
Any gardener worth his/her salt has walked and knows every square foot of their vegetative domain and I aim to garden the Sand Prairie. I intervened at the square foot level the past two days deciding with my brush cutter emphatically that, NO, I won’t let nature run its course; these weeds must be stopped! My work at The Springs is like a castle made of sand so long as people believe we can address the invasive species issue with poison and assume that others, i.e. the government, or some crazed Don Quixote volunteer, is handling it. Nope, unless we have a raising of consciousness, and people prioritize the land and natural law over profits and war, we’ll be poisoning invasive plants forever.
I had the pleasure of meeting two consciousness raising educators and their group of 18 aspiring photographers at The Springs this past Tuesday morning. Listen to John Hallagan, 4rth grade teacher at Magee Elementary School and Pete “Laser” Nielsen, Biology teacher at Kettle Moraine High School, describe their awareness altering adventure.
I invite John and his students to post their Scuppernong Springs slide show right here, and I sincerely hope that I can persuade Pete to allow me to post his pictures of the Scuppernong Springs Hotel here as well.
My agenda on both Tuesday and Wednesday, July 23-24 was the same i.e., spray buckthorn and other invasive plants along the cut-off trail in the morning, and then brush cut weeds on the sand prairie.
Good Morning Springs!
I thoroughly enjoyed the day!
Check out this Blandings turtle catching some dinner below the marl pit bridge.
The north breezes began to wain as evening fell and the skeeters were thick around my bug net as I watched the sun go down at Ottawa Lake.
Wednesday was almost a carbon copy of Tuesday and I managed to cover almost the entire sand prairie whacking weeds as well as cherry, oak, hickory, buckthorn, honeysuckle and sumac brush. This is not what Ewel would call a “sustainable” restoration but, nevertheless, I do aspire to the sand prairie ideal.
I’m sorry to say that I hit and killed my first deer on the way home Wednesday night. I swear to god, I remarked to myself proudly, as I was getting in my truck to drive home, that I had never hit a deer!
See you at The Springs!