Strawberries are on the way. This strawberry field at Story Farms, here in Catskill, will soon be the site of an annual Spring ritual – little kids out with Mom and Dad picking their own – childhood memories that run through generations. Jim and Irene and their operation are local treasures.
Cindy and I took advantage of a beautiful Sunday afternoon and drove up the mountain, with a couple of destinations in mind. First was the Platte Clove cabin I will be spending time in this July, courtesy of the Platte Clove Artists in Residency Program. After a brief tour of the cabin we hiked down to the base of Plattekill Falls, one of twenty or so falls that run the length of the Clove.
From there a short ride over to the Mountaintop Arboretum, with its sculpted gardens and a grand view of the Catskill peaks. But it was the small pond that caught our attention.
Floating just under the surface, seemingly everywhere, looking like pearls suspended in diaphanous sacs, were clusters of salamander eggs. And it continues to amaze me to watch nature do what it does. I marvel at it.
More images here from a sandstone I picked up recently, mostly brachiopods. As ordinary as they seem to be, it should be noted that brachiopods first appeared on the scene during the Cambrian Period (540 to 485 million years ago). Even more amazing is that a small number of brachiopod descendants still exist today.
Various extinctions have occurred throughout time. I read recently that, “…for complex organisms, the average lifespan of a species is only about four million years – roughly about where we are now.” (that from A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson)
I also read the other day in the New York Times a story that got way too little attention given its import. Entitled Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears, it states:
The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years…
…The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.
I always thought that collective self-awareness was a logical step forward in evolution. Now I sometimes find myself wondering if we aren’t just one of the many species this planet has seen many times before with a limited lifespan.
Global climate change is real. Let your representatives in D.C. know that effective measures can still have a positive effect.Click on the link below for phone numbers:
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