Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

South Pasadena's lush environment often makes me feel like I'm living in a version of Eden -- albeit, one with a lot of Craftsman houses. This area is so incredibly leafy and fertile. Flowers sprout from sidewalk cracks. Like these volunteer impatiens I spotted growing next to a curb near a neighbor's driveway. A flower bed probably contains the well-manicured relatives of this wandering youth. It's cool the way life is so tenacious and surprising, how it often chooses to bloom in unlikely places. Such is our wildhearted planet.

There is more to environmentalism than dour lectures about cow methane, trendy canvas grocery bags and rows of recycling bins. I believe at the heart of it is a profound respect for the delicate intricacy of mother earth's many organisms. In the seventies, it was called ecology -- a decidedly more respectable name than the current, more lackadaisical term "Green Movement." (Whenever I hear the term Green Movement, it makes me think of something gastrointestinal that surely needs medical attention... but I digress.)

On this Earth Day, why not take the time to reflect on the abundance of differing life forms that share our habitat -- and resolve to do our best to make sure they continue to grow and thrive. If nothing else, it's just good manners as fellow roommates sharing the planet.
Happy Earth Day, everybody!


Virginia said...

Well said as always! ( I'm still chuckling over Green Movement!) Like that jazzy imaptiens too!

Halcyon said...

What a beautiful little flower. Thanks for sharing. And I totally agree with you on the "Green Movement". I don't like that term much either - but I suppose we should be happy that ecology is becoming more mainstream.

Judy Williams said...

Impatiens are so delicate yet their vibrant colors make them strong. Beautiful shot.

Happy Earth Day

Dixie Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dixie Jane said...

Surely the planet powers could come up with something better than, "Green Movement." But Mother Nature's indiscriminate planting of flowers in the cracks and crevices and this beauty by your neighbor's curb is a lovely testimony to Southern California and specifically South Pasadena. Where I live the deer eat them voraciously for breakfast and late night snack.

Thanks for reminding us of the beauty that abounds on this Earth Day.

altadenahiker said...

Excellent post, you absolutely said what has been on my mind as well.

("wandering youth," how sweet.)

Cafe Observer said...

It's nice to have 1 day of de year 2 think about de earth planet. And, it's wunderful, LA, how this reminds you of Eden - e/w/n or s?

These daze these hot days can leave me in a daze, but am I misremembering or didn't moon day come b4 earth day?

Margaret said...

Gorgeous shot and lovely sentiments. Happy Earth Day to you.

Yakpate said...

Here's my bit to promote earth day: BEES prefer flowers in shades of cream, yellow, gold and orange.

I'm surprised... I would have thought these little garden angels would prefer hot pink, as I do!

Beautiful shot, Laurie.

Anonymous said...

May I add this to the discussion...Bees....they looove lavender which has the added benefit of being drought tolerant... and don't get me started on Pride of Madeira.
Impatiens are my mother's favorite flower

Mister Earl said...

I've been impatient all Earth Day wanting to find out why "impatiens" are so named. So I found this on Wikipedia. I guess they could have been called "hair triggers." I hope no one ever call me an impatiens!

"These plants derives their scientific name Impatiens (Latin for "impatient") and the common name "touch-me-not" in reference to their seed capsules. When the capsules mature, they "explode" when touched, sending seeds several meters away. This mechanism is also known as "explosive dehiscence"; see also Rapid plant movement."

Petrea said...

Hee hee, Laurie, we've found something about which I'm even further left than you! I was so wrapped up in my computer troubles I almost forgot it was Earth Day.

I don't care what we call the movement, so long as there is one. I'm glad it's fashionable to be "green." I don't think we're doing nearly enough yet. We have to not just urge our representatives to do more, but vote them out when they don't. What could be more important than the planet's health? Without it, where are we going to live? Nothing much matters when there isn't enough water to drink, or when what water you have is poisonous, or--

Okay, I'll stop. For me, this is one of those issues that pushes buttons. And what was I doing today? Messing with wires under my desk.

Thank you for posting about this, Laurie.

jamie said...

hi there! i'd love to ask you a question but don't see an email button... could you reply to this comment ?
thank you!

Laurie said...

Hi everyone!

I hope your Earth days were appropriately earthy and grounding. I will always love this day for another reason -- it's my youngest nephew's birthday and I adore him like bees love honey. (And lavender!)

Petrea, I agree with you. This issue is paramount. But I am rather disdainful of the huge industry that has cropped up around environmentalism-- and all the BS that has been sold in the name of "green." (Ethanol, anyone? How about the cop out of carbon trading? Compact fluorescent light bulbs that are loaded with mercury and will eventually leach into the water table from landfills as more and more are improperly discarded? We can do better than this.)

The Green-as-Hip stuff is making me weary in irony overload. We don't need polluting Chinese factories pumping out any more hipster screenprinted tote bags. Or anymore designers discarding LAST season's green line for THIS season's green line. Or purportedly "natural" products packaged in plastic. We definitely need to tell the makers of DVDs that when they package movies that are about ecology and limiting waste, please don't package them with an additional cardboard sleeve.

We need more innovation about technology, in my opinion, and less smug hectoring from celebrities who drive Hybrids.

I am afraid a lot of people are either turned off by the "movement" or lulled into a false sense of accomplishment by simply recycling their plastic water bottles. I wish I felt more optimistic -- that at least this is out there now, and prioritized. But I feel about it a lot like I feel about modern medicine. Too much emphasis of the pills, and not enough on prevention.

Oh heck, where did that soapbox come from? Let me climb down. I tried to ditch that dang soapbox when I turned 40 but sometimes I sneak back up on it.

Mister E, great research about impatiens! I always wondered about the name, too. I think it's funny that they blow their little stacks the way they do. You'd never guess by looking at them!

Jamie, welcome! You can find my email on the right side of the blog, in the About This Blog section.

Until tomorrow, eveyrone...

Mister Earl said...

Laurie: I hadn't really thought about it, but every time I hear about Green this or Green that, I have a nagging feeling that it's just life in 21st century America masquerading as good-for-the- planet. It's seems to me that it's just the latest trend in marketing. When I bring my own bags to Trader Joe's, I wonder, "Have I really accomplished anything when I see those checkers double bagging items that don't even need a bag? If they were serious, wouldn't they really have strict policies about giving out bags at all?" Now that I think about it, I think that we aren't doing much to actually change the way we live, but we're acting like we're saving the planet. Thanks for making me think about it.

Petrea said...


I want people to care, but we've got to pay attention. We got into this trouble (if I put it simplistically) on a buying spree. If we let "Green" be just marketing, we're sunk. It's got to be in our hearts and our lives and our votes, not just our purses.

Love you, girl. You rock.

Anonymous said...


This is the thing with the Hybrids...the people I know who have them did so on a trade in. In other words, they unloaded their increasingly unpopular big ass SUV's. Lets ponder this a moment. Did said SUV's drive off into the sunset? NO...they ended up in my neighborhood where their unpopularity made them affordable.
Uh oh, I'm having a cranky moment

Laurie said...

Wow, PA. I hadn't thought about that. :-(

Anonymous said...

Nice information...Nice photos..

Thank you very much...

#1 Satellite Television Service Provider