Here’s an example of how British Columbia property law and land use determines the physical characteristics of the land itself. Here’s one of our treasures, the Brittly Prickly Pear.
That lovely green stigma is perfectly matched to an apostemon bee’s neon green body. Not so a beetle.
But that’s not the heart of things here. Brittle prickly pear are succession beings. They colonize rock outcroppings after fire, or eroded land. After a couple decades, they are gone, choked out by the increasingly wet, cool world of the grasses and vascular plants they created the conditions for.
For generations, we have suppressed both those fires and that erosion, to support the British Columbian concept of land. The price is cacti. Well, and beetles, the birds that eat them, flowering vascular plants, bees, and so on. In other words, in the name of protecting property and environment, the laws of British Columbia create a non-indigenous state of nature. That is all our children will see. And so, with all the best of intentions, a culture that builds itself as a separate (urban or civic) environment within a syilx garden comes to live in an artifice. And we could have had this.
This cactus plant bloomed five years ago. It has since succumbed to the cheatgrass you can see surrounding it above..
Categories: Grasslands, Indigenous Farming, invasive species, Nature Photography, Science
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