“No man is an island entire of itself; every man / is a piece of the continent, a part of the main” So wrote John Donne in his oft-quoted Meditation XVII. Theodore Fleming, we can assume has, at least at some point in the past, likely read Donne’s famous meditation, and perhaps was even thinking about it as he examined the discoveries he made in his study of cactus pollination and pollinators near Sonora, Mexico.
A social media message from the Oregon Department of Forestry about the coïncidence of the expected eclipse-viewing tourist deluge with the peak of the state’s wildfire season got me thinking about just how wildfires effect both ecosystems as well as economies. However a wildfire in central Oregon is not the same type of event as, say, a wildfire in Nebraska, or in southern California, for that matter.
Wildfires are peculiar phenomena in the American west. The bane of logging companies, they are also a necessity for the life cycle of many ecosystems. And despite how much damage they may do, in many instances they seem to be forgotten far more quickly than would seem reasonable.
While the U.K. might have just voted itself out of the European Union, four new U.S. states have just joined the association; the American Birding Association that is, as part of their field guide series from Scott & Nix.