Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bad but beautiful

I was so taken with the red blossoming trees prevalent during the day-long road trip to Hana that  I sought information about them as soon as I had access to a computer. They are African Tulip trees, also known as Flame trees ,and . . . invasive! Seems that they have greedily usurped much habitat all over the Hawaiian islands.

Many years ago a friend from Milwaukee visited us in the fall. Seattle is an area in which the Himalayan blackberry has crowded out much vegetation and is the bane of existence for property owners and land managers, as it is nearly impossible to eradicate. As my friend and I were driving back from an excursion, she noticed people stopped on the side of the road picking the berries (and they can be absolutely yummy). "Oh, wow! Wild blackberries! Can we stop to pick some?"

My response was negative. "Absolutely not! Picking them only encourages their growth," I answered.

Now I am remembering that response guiltily. Can beauty (or flavor) sometimes help us overlook and excuse the undesirable attributes of flora?

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