Showing posts from April, 2020

In Praise of Key Workers

While the world is rightly applauding the key workers, who are risking their lives to keep the rest of us going during this period of upheaval, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to praise some of the smaller key workers that are also ensuring that life goes on. Insect pollinators, like this Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula complex, currently en route to a Balm-leaved Figwort, Scrophularia scorodonia, pollinate over 80% of plants, and that includes over a third of the crops which we depend upon.

It is not only the pollen that needs to be transported, so do the seeds. So let’s hear it for the logistics crew. Burrs attach themselves to furry mammals; birds, such as this Levant Blackbird, Turdus merula ssp. Syriacus, distribute seeds through their gastrointestinal systems, thus manuring them as they inadvertently plant them; and some Harvester Ants cache seeds in pastures new. These are just some of the ways in which the plant and animal worlds interact on our behalf.

All of thes…