In the Fullness of Time

This blog will focus on my fall sabbatical, and the ecology, evolution, and conservation of endangered and rare species in the Death Valley / Owens Valley area of California. Two taxa that I am particularly interested in are the Inyo Mountain salamander, and desert pupfish in the genus Cyprinodon. I plan on exploring not only the science of these species (and others), but also their beauty.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hold Steady

Hold steady - against the last three million years, the folding and faulting of desert ranges, the subsidence of valleys, the drainage reversals, the ebb and flow of ice and rain, the lava and ash, the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Ignore the vanished mastodons and mammoths, cave bears and dire wolves, camels and sloths. Persevere against the great drought of the Hypsithermal, the failing springs and rivers, the drying and dying plants. Hold steady against the hunters and gatherers, and later, the plow and the pump, the bulldozer and drainage ditch. Endure, too, the crayfish and bass, the sunfish and bullfrog, the cow and burro, the cattail, tamarisk, and common reed. Hold steady against the collectors and farmers, the developers, those who would dismiss you, and those who will never care. Persist against the flash floods and shuddering earth, the chytrid fungus and parasitic worm and viral plague. Hold steady in spite of your isolation, the loneliness of lost lineages, the last few of your kind hiding in rough canyons and tiny springs. And in the coming years, hold steady against our great and growing thirst. But mostly, now and forever, hold steady against our ignorance, what we have not learned, or refuse to know.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written passage--stirring with a compelling message.