Salamanders and Soil Development  

Posted by Dave in ,


Lush. Not an adequate word to describe an Appalachian forest morning after a June thunderstorm. Or during one for that matter.
The rain has replenished our little creek (pronounced "crick"), and it runs amiably past the cabin this morning. Though it is too small, too cold and too fast for fish, it is populated with a wondrous assortment of crawdads (crayfish for the unfamiliar), water skippers and salamanders. Each quietly surveying their dominions - the bottom, the surface, the shore.

I wonder, are they aware of each other? Though they share the creek, they seldom if ever venture into each other's domain. Are we, perhaps a bit like them? How often do we consider the world of our neighbor? Are there worlds which we are a part of, perhaps even influence or impact, and yet we do not perceive. Too much pondering. Makes me hungry. Just as they spend their days in search of sustenance so do we, and so I begin to ponder supper.

The garden is in, and with the exception of a few peppers and tomatoes that succumbed to a recent frost and need replaced, is mostly doing well. This garden plot is new to us, and the soil needs to be built back up with care and compost. The soil on this side of the mountain is thin and little forgives neglect. the deep tap roots of native tree and weed are much more suited to digging for the necessary nutrition than are tender, cultivated perennials. A few more seasons and perhaps it will be as rich as the coveted bottom lands, that are, even as we speak being papered over with housing developments, flimsy but ostentatious houses, manicured lawns and blacktop. It is easy get upset when I think of the waste of all the great dirt, in these parts the product of two centuries of land stewardship, being laid to waste even as the radio news cries that the "world must increase food production and improve transportation by at least 50 percent just to keep up with current demands". To watch someone seeding fescue onto the some of the worlds richest croplands is baffling and nearly unforgivable. This land, this country, became the greatest by building solid foundations - the soil, industry that actually made things, men and women who worked with pride no matter the humble task. And yet, the very impermanence of the structures the first world is building, their homes and worse still their society gives pause for reflection...

Think I'd better go plant an extra row of beans.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 11:43 AM and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

1 comments

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about the importance of soil myself.

I wish my garden was already in.

Your little spot on earth looks beautiful.

June 10, 2008 at 5:49 PM

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