Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Litter Mob 2 - Beauty and the Beast

What do I see in the woods? Why do I go to the woods? Why do I retreat from the wide sunlight of the green ball fields and the sedate islands of trees in seas of grass?

The goutweed is in bloom. It is high early summer.

The air is seagreen.

The jewelweed, just a couple of inches above the leaf litter when we assembled for our first Litter Mob in the Midwood of Prospect Park, six weeks ago, is now thigh high.

You can see the Merchant Ivory credits rolling...

May apples are setting fruit, where they have not been trampled.

Full stop.

I really questioned whether to add the ugly pictures, this time. Over-exposure. Our own,  the readers'. A loss of sympathy. A weariness. Blunted outrage.  This blog is about looking the other way, when it comes to what is ugly. It is about the possible, not about the probable. And to show the beast with the beauty would imply that I have to do it with all my posts. But I won't. 

I will go on posting about flowers and food and gardens and green places, except in rare deviations, and with Prospect Park, where I will post the ugliness until it is contained. Because so far our litter gathering troop is a bandaid. And until the litter and its complicated causes are addressed humanely, intelligently, firmly and with integrity, a bandaid we volunteers will remain. And that is not good enough. 


But I guess I have to draw a line. Must not show what is really there. Distasteful. The Times had an expert on taste and style check/vet aspects of their story and so my internal expert just threw out the pictures: What were you thinking???- said the internal expert. So here is some of what was there today, before we picked it up and put it in our bags.  

The paths in the goutweed are beautiful. But follow them to a big old screening tree, look down at its base, and the verdure vanishes. 

You still hear the whistle of the chipmunk, the dead tree rattling under the hammer of the woodpecker, the cardinal advertising, the bee on the goutweed flower. 

But you also hear an internal buzz. An angry hum. And you see these woods, these beautiful woods, ruined. And you see no plan in place to change that. 

Later you walk a bit and see mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms. On a nice, high log. There's not much appetite for them. You are thinking about contagious diseases and biohazardous waste. But you feel happier.

Then you find a beautiful flower like a rose, that turns out to be Rubus odoratus. And soon you find more.

And you think of high summer, and berries. And then you go for a ride in a big truck and fetch woodland perennials to plant.

And the internal plant geek says to the internal style and taste expert, Snapoudof it! But the taste and style expert stands firm and hisses, Plant!

Which you do. Arisaema triphyllum - Jack-in-the-pulpit.

And that is how we end. Planting solidago and wood asters, too.

As usual, huge thanks to the litter mobsters who showed up today: Olga Kuchukov (above), Frank Meuschke, Paulo Freitas, Elizabeth Royte, Vincent Mounier (yes, him), and to David, John and Jessica. 

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