I can’t figure out why society is so enamored of movies about invaders from outer space when we have a real life invasion going on from earth’s inner space. Squadrons of deer, raccoons, opossums, skunks, chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels, moles, wild turkeys, crows, robins, wolves, black bears, feral hogs, to mention a few, have unleashed an attack upon homes, gardens and farms unprecedented since the 1800s. It is worse than a century ago because we don’t have nearly as many hunters now as we did then. In the 1940s when I was growing up, there was not a deer in our county. Now they roam at will across the farm fields, towns and highways, laying waste to everything that grows and causing far more deaths on the roads than bombs do in Afghanistan.
If you garden at all, you will get a laugh or at least a sly smile from the cover of the New Yorker for July 2 of this year. It shows a cartoon by Edward Koren, of a man mowing a little plot of lawn surrounded by woodlands and an army of wild animals staring out at him from the underbrush. In your mind, replace the lawnmower guy with a gardener tending vegetables, fruits and flowers. Now you have a picture that would be worth a thousand or million words. That this cartoon should appear on a decidedly urban magazine cover rather than in a farm or garden publication is especially significant because it indicates that urban America is getting the message: the wild kingdom is out to get us.
|Gene Logsdon is the author of, most recently, A Sanctuary of Trees: Beech Nuts, Birdsongs, Baseball Bats, and Benedictions|