I came across this flower while on a Land Conservancy cleanup in Indian Point Park . Karen Adair of the Nature Conservancy identified it as an invasive Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) and said I should pull it out. It’s native to Europe, southwest Asia and northern Iran and had no business being in Ohio.
So I yanked out the plants. It’s never pleasant to destroy something beautiful. But that’s exactly what’s necessary when something beautiful destroys the natural habitat of other beauties of nature.
Through no fault of its own, this second example of beauty is also destroying the habitat of other beauties of nature. Check out the photographs in my previous blogs, A Tale of Three Cities.
You’ll see how the deer have stripped the trees of the lower branches that certain birds need for nesting in Veterans Park and Mentor Marsh. Wild flowers, seedlings and saplings have disappeared to the extent that in fifty years when the existing trees die, there’ll be nothing to replace them. Our grandchildren will take a walk in what we call Veterans Park but what they’ll have to call Veterans Meadow.
According to Jeff Frishkorn’s recent article, Lyme disease is a growing risk in Northeast Ohio. The disease is contracted from the deer tick. Read the online comments by News-Herald readers who have the disease at http://www.news-herald.com/articles/2011/07/14/news/nh4183393.txt
While the aim is to extirpate the Summer Snowflake, no one’s talking about wiping out the White-tailed Deer. We’re talking about reducing their numbers to allow all plants and other critters to thrive in their respective habitats.
The Cleveland Metroparks system has a wide diversity of plants and animals because they’ve been culling the deer population for almost 15 years. Holden Arboretum, Geauga Parks District and cities like Kirtland, Waite Hill and Kirtland Hills have followed Cleveland Metroparks’ example with good outcomes.
I love seeing deer and photographing them. I’ve accustomed them to my presence so that when they hear my window click and crank open, they don’t run off. They continue what they’re doing so I can photograph them.
But I wouldn’t mind seeing them half as often.
I favor reducing the deer population in Mentor. It’s not because I don’t value deer. It’s because I value the plants and animals whose habitat they’ve destroyed as much as I value the deer themselves.