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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

After the Flood

Although the weather has not been kind to the baby birds, Bow and I have been doing well despite it all.
This is a snapshot I took this morning, while Bow and I were in the outer pen. After spending some time grooming me, he put his head down on my shoulder and rested. The weather outside is beautiful now, and I have not seen such splendid irises blooming next to the lagoon in years.

When we first moved here, there were irises and peonies blooming by the lagoon in large bunches every spring. Then, little by little, the poison ivy encroached on their territory, until they were entirely choked out.

The bulbs were there in the ground still. Some leaves would shoot out each year, but there were no more irises blooming, and the peonies were greatly reduced.

Then two years ago there was that grass fire. It killed a lot of the mature poison ivy vines and tree-like bushes. I started to see a redoubling in iris greenery, but still the irises did not bloom last year, even though the peonies beside them were doing much better. But look at my irises this year, after the torrential rains!

There are two types of irises in the garden by the lagoon.  There are the deep purple that is like a royal blue.

And then there are the mauve to purple irises, which are right next to the peonies.

I think I took them for granted when I first moved here, seeing their beauty, but not realizing it would not always be there. This year, when they came our I was so excited that I even made a music video about them. It includes other flowers, of course, but the focus is on the irises and the peonies.

The peonies are so bright and fluffy and inviting that all sorts of insects come to visit them.

Every disaster has its upside. What was bad for the baby birds seems to have benefited the peonies.  And the fire of two years ago was a disaster for the poison ivy by the lagoon, but it gave new hope to the irises. When people count the toll of deaths from any particular cause, do they also count the new life that never would have been, if not for it? By the same token, when they tell us that a new government program has saved lives, we must also ask, how many has it killed? You can't change any situation to benefit one part of our interconnected world without also harming another part.

When we hear that something is bad, it is always important to ask: for whom? And when we hear that an intervention is good, ask the same question. Whatever it is, it is not equally good for everyone.


  1. The purple irises are especially marvelous. I find your lessons in these posts always informative.

    1. Thanks, Julia! I really missed those irises when they were gone, but did not realize how much till they came back.