Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Keeping Secrets...

Some of the rarest things in nature are the most fascinating. Factor in the challenge to see these rarities and an obsessive desire is born. We want to see them, we need to see them. Or at least we think we do. Sometimes, maybe it should be enough to know they are there.

Three-birds Orchid, Triphora trianthophora
Diminutive orchids with rare blooming cycles, become the Holy Grail for botanist types. Perhaps, it is good to document their bloom cycles, and fix a "mental search image" so other populations may be found.

Swamp Metalmark, Calephelis muticum
The butterfly so rare, it was thought to be extirpated. Did the last of the previously known population meet its demise by over-zealous by butterfly collectors?

How easy it is to love to death the very treasures we should protect.

River Jewelwing, Calopteryx aequabilis photo by Dennis Paulson

In Ohio dragonflies, it is the delicate River Jewelwing which inspires men to madness and women to mourning. Oh, to see this creature dive beneath the water to lay her eggs, to enable next generation's success. Only two known sites in Ohio; this is the damsel we long to see. But we should put the good of the species, above our need for voyeurism? I have settled for seeing this species in Michigan, where they are not endangered.

Keeping secrets? Maybe we should- if it protects the very plant, insect or bird that we treasure most. Is it keeping secrets, or being responsible? Eco-tourism is great, as long as the "traffic" doesn't endanger the very species we want to save.

Maybe I'll even re-think my desire to see polar bears, after all- do they really need to see me?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Cheryl for showing your secrets, Very beautiful. It does make you think!