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Old 07-05-2010, 08:47 PM   #31
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I think that the part that I wrestle with the most is how far do I go to try and make up for the damage caused by my species. I have long come to realize that I cannot make up for what everyone else is doing. I have to settle myself and my spirit with the knowledge that I am doing the best that I can for the planet with the area of land that I can control. I try to educate people, not with a stick, but by example. I have several people that live in my little town that do not know me, but they know my yarden. I don't go overboard, just casually mention that all the plants are native.

Recently, Mary wanted me to kill the spider mites that were on the milkweed and were killing the plants. I cannot do that. I am not qualified to sit in judgment and say that the mites should die. I will create the conditions that they do not favor, but I cannot bring myself to outright kill them. In my mind there is no grey area when it comes to life or death. All living things deserve to live. The things I do are for all the living things, all the insects, all the birds, all the mammals, all the reptiles. I do not say which one is better than the other since they all are links in the great chain of life that binds us all to each other. For me, knowing the dire situation of the monarch and other lepidoptera, just prompts me to plant more of their host plant. I will do what I can to help the population increase but not at the expense of some other population.
I hope that I answered your question.
There is something profound in what you are saying. Too few people put equal value on the cute & cuddly creatures compared to the creepy crawlies. I hate to kill anything--I catch spiders and bugs in the house and put them outside. I do however swat at mosquitoes.

Not to diminish your philosophy, but while typing this it occurred to me that I put cages up to protect seedling trees from browsing deer and rabbits...is there some kind of analogy there with protecting caterpillars from their predators?

Just a thought.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:09 AM   #32
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I can understand the idea of protecting the young trees from predation. I don't really have that problem since my yarden is fenced. I had a problem with people running over a couple of saplings, but not deer or rabbits. I would like to cover my plants to protect the caterpillars, but that would only prevent birds not spiders and wasps and flies. I just try to hope that there are enough caterpillars to survive the onslaught of predators that they face. I planted the native plants for ALL of the wildlife and not just the lepidoptera. That is not to say that I am not disappointed when my favorite spicebush swallowtail larva is eaten the day after I found it.
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:37 AM   #33
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I can understand the idea of protecting the young trees from predation. I don't really have that problem since my yarden is fenced. I had a problem with people running over a couple of saplings, but not deer or rabbits. I would like to cover my plants to protect the caterpillars, but that would only prevent birds not spiders and wasps and flies. I just try to hope that there are enough caterpillars to survive the onslaught of predators that they face. I planted the native plants for ALL of the wildlife and not just the lepidoptera. That is not to say that I am not disappointed when my favorite spicebush swallowtail larva is eaten the day after I found it.
Aww...sorry to hear it was eaten. Like you said, hopefully there are more caterpillars that survived.

I have some blackgum trees that the deer *mostly* leave alone. I do not have them in cages...but the deer do nibble them at times. I was excited that one was getting a few inches taller only to find that the deer munched him back a bit. (Actually I'm hoping it is a 'her' so we get berries.) So, I understand leaving things to provide food as well...at least my tree will continue to grow. Hopefully, you will see some more swallowtail butterflies and you will know that your yard helps add to their success.

I can't remember who said it, but our commitment is to the species, not the individual. (Could've been Sara Stein?)
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:14 PM   #34
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I can't remember who said it, but our commitment is to the species, not the individual. (Could've been Sara Stein?)[/QUOTE]


Yes, Sara Stein says "Let European birches go on where they belong, which isn't here. It's the flock, the grove, that matters. our responsibility is to species, not to specimens, to communities, not to individuals."

But I feel compelled to add that this sentence out of context loses its original meaning. If Stein's great work states anything as its central theme, it is that home owners need to FAVOR natives in any way possible. Her work tells of how she waged war with invasive aliens and went to any extreme to extirpate them. She and Doug Tallamy would have gotten along famously. Indeed, I wonder if they ever met? Stein passed in 2005 at 69.

Here is an interesting interview she did with Wild Ones. In it she relates the run-in she had with Michael Pollan when she criticized him for planting a Norway Maple. He responded later by referring to her as a "plant fascist!" Sara Stein is one of my heros. I think a great one!

http://www.for-wild.org/download/stein2.html
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:54 PM   #35
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A further thought - Though Stein and Pollan had words, I look at him with positive thoughts. It's difficult to get most anyone to buy the whole package. So if one makes films and writes books exposing ill deeds against nature, they deserve, I feel, homage.

With Pollan, though, I wonder what about the invasive qualities of Norway Maples he didn't understand...
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:05 PM   #36
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I can't remember who said it, but our commitment is to the species, not the individual. (Could've been Sara Stein?)

Yes, Sara Stein says "Let European birches go on where they belong, which isn't here. It's the flock, the grove, that matters. our responsibility is to species, not to specimens, to communities, not to individuals."

But I feel compelled to add that this sentence out of context loses its original meaning. If Stein's great work states anything as its central theme, it is that home owners need to FAVOR natives in any way possible. Her work tells of how she waged war with invasive aliens and went to any extreme to extirpate them. She and Doug Tallamy would have gotten along famously. Indeed, I wonder if they ever met? Stein passed in 2005 at 69.

Here is an interesting interview she did with Wild Ones. In it she relates the run-in she had with Michael Pollan when she criticized him for planting a Norway Maple. He responded later by referring to her as a "plant fascist!" Sara Stein is one of my heros. I think a great one!

http://www.for-wild.org/download/stein2.html[/QUOTE]


Jack, thank you so much for the actual quote and for the interview. I'll watch it when I have time...hopefully later on tonight.

I bought and read Planting Noah's Garden, but never read Noah's Garden. I lent it out, then moved. I'd love to read it again, and the first one, too. After reading it, I remember wanting to meet her. About a year or two ago, I did a search of her name, and was shocked and saddened to find that she had already passed.
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:42 PM   #37
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Planting Noah's Garden is a good, informative read, and not to be cast aside. But NOAH'S GARDEN is undoubtably her masterpiece.
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:58 PM   #38
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Planting Noah's Garden is a good, informative read, and not to be cast aside. But NOAH'S GARDEN is undoubtably her masterpiece.
I'll have to get it along with some others recommended at this site.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:27 PM   #39
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I'll have to get it along with some others recommended at this site.
I think I mentioned it before on the site, but without question NOAH'S GARDEN is the most influential book on gardening that I've ever read. Nothing in it is about food gardening, it's all focused upon landscape gardening with natives, always with an eye on wildlife.

Though Doug Tallamy's BRINGING NATURE HOME was another great work, it gets edged out on my all-time list by NOAH'S GARDEN!
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:55 PM   #40
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I think I mentioned it before on the site, but without question NOAH'S GARDEN is the most influential book on gardening that I've ever read. Nothing in it is about food gardening, it's all focused upon landscape gardening with natives, always with an eye on wildlife.

Though Doug Tallamy's BRINGING NATURE HOME was another great work, it gets edged out on my all-time list by NOAH'S GARDEN!

I really enjoyed her second book, but now I *have to* read the first. I can't believe I let this much time go by without reading it. I guess I thought I'm already on board, she'd just be preaching to the choir..but, sometimes that is just what I need.

I've been wanting to pick up Bringing Nature Home too, since reading about it on this site.

(BTW, we have to keep this site--I am finally back to posting as usual...but, I don't want to get complacent.)
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