I’m now in my 3rd read of Wild America by Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher. They’ve made me think, and think beyond. When I opened our Media Library of hundreds upon hundreds of images, this one here leaped out to me.
Fisher was visiting the USA for the first time in that year, 1955. Peterson, America’s famed birder, was born here, and he describes and shares his displeasure with the abundance of alien plant species that their trip around the United States revealed.
The Georgia Native Plant Society often spotlights this problem in their Facebook posts. Bradford Pears, alien Privets, alien Wisteria, even the much beloved Buddleia (Butterfly bushes) will soon rival Kudzu and the other infamous alien problem plants. Garlic mustard so displeased me, that in early Springs, I’d walk Petra on those Pittsburgh Frick Park trails in Pennsylvania, pulling hundreds of those invasives, hundreds.
I love native wildflowers, and more and more I don’t get to see them, for aliens muscle them out, and those aliens don’t, they just don’t sustain our native wildlife, be they bee, chipmunk or goldfinch.
Here I am, looking closely at what’s growing trailside at Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. It bothers me that some of what I’m examining is alien, originating in Asia, Europe, south of the border or elsewhere. I wonder if this mix here in America will remain as it is, or will our children see less of our natives and more of these alien plant species in the future?
Me? I puzzle as to why this problem is not presented to our kids, in our schools?