It was beautiful as the sun came up this morning.
I couldn’t quite believe my eyes as I biked out to running training last night and saw an uprooted westringia (native shrub) in the local pocket park. It was nightfall when I returned, and to my distress, there were a couple of westringias (at the bottom of the picture below), a couple of dianellas, and another strappy-leafed plant whose name I don’t know lying uprooted on the ground. And, there were the holes where many more plants had previously been. The plant stealers are back.
These poor plants were probably uprooted the previous night, and who knows why they were left behind. But since the others were taken–I have concluded they have been stolen, and this is only the latest in a series. I put the uprooted plants in water overnight and they looked a lot better by morning. I cut them back to give the suffering roots less leaf to support. And then, before work this morning, back into the ground with them.
I also planted more saltbush, since my seedlings keep coming up. They look so small and pitiful… but hopefully they’ll come along.
I have started on another site, a bare triangle left after infrastructure works, and these three tiddlers are the beginning (I hope). There they are in the foreground. I worked over this triangle collecting rubbish, and then heaved some buckets of mulch up from a low pile left over in the pocket park. I do sometimes wonder if the dumpers feel like this low mound makes their efforts less noticeable, so shifting that mulch to a bare spot seems a good idea for a number of reasons.
It soon appeared that the low wall might be a good canvas for chalk. It wasn’t me, but I’m delighted, and so were neighbourhood passersby, several of whom offered comment.
Thinking about the people who have been doing this (on at least four occasions I have noticed, so far–with a total loss of at least 25 plants)–I feel conscious that the inequality of the current economic system generates both poverty and greed. And militates against any sense of shared resources or the commons. I don’t want to assume it makes sense to blame the people who are doing this. Maybe it wouldn’t, if I knew them and their circumstances–even if their actions make me sad and seem to me to amount to privatising the commons.
If you’d like a primer on what I mean by the commons, try this song by David Rovics–aimed at corporations rather than at people stealing plants who may well themselves be desperate (and with a truly odd animation to make you scratch your head).