Good and evil, native and invasive

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, January 26, 2016

By Susan and Biff Andrews

A few random thoughts this winter:

Tidewater in winter is either warm and wet or cold, clear, and dry. There is no middle ground.

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Genetically modified crops may be necessary to feed 10 billion people, but there goes biodiversity.

How long does an invasive species have to live here to be considered “native,” the new normal? For example: starlings, cormorants, phragmites and stilt grass.

Bradford pears are both a boon and a curse. They grow quickly, easily, are nice to look at, but they’re the first casualties in any storm, because the wood is so soft and heavy. As the dented roof of my truck could attest.

Here are a few more of God’s creatures whose purpose I cannot fathom: gnats, voles, jellyfish, slugs, etc., etc.

Here are a few of God’s creatures whose purpose anyone can fathom: porpoises, eagles, tiger swallowtails, luna moths, etc., etc.

If you feel drawn to water — fresh or salt — you should read or re-read the first chapter of “Moby Dick.”

Veins in leaves and veins in the human body are remarkably alike in design and purpose.

The red berries on green hollies are never as brilliant as when being consumed by cedar waxwings.

If anyone could figure out how to catch fiddler crabs to use as bait for tautog, sheepshead and the like, they’d be rich.

If you’re in the Rockies on a clear blue day, the sky gets bluer and bluer the higher you hike.

I wonder if a croaker can tell the difference between a strip of squid from the Pacific or the Atlantic??

Why do spot, roundhead, croaker, and so on love bloodworm as bait, when we don’t have any occurring naturally hereabouts?

If you’ve never tried to hike uphill at an elevation above 12,000 feet, you don’t understand the term “oxygen deprivation.”

When Martin Luther decided to light candles on indoor evergreens to celebrate Christmas, don’t you think he could have chosen a less flammable species?

How did Jamestown settlers nearly starve with all the oysters, clams, sturgeon, turkey, deer, fox, coons, rabbit and squirrels, much less with all the berries, corn, squash, beans and so on?

Kudos to Muir, Audubon, Teddy Roosevelt, et al., who worked to preserve national parks, nature sanctuaries and other natural wonders in America.

Our grandchildren will never know the beauties of nature unless we preserve it and teach our kids to cherish it.

People who own pets live longer than those who don’t. It’s all about the love. Love is good — and to quote Mammy Yokum, “Good will always win out over evil, because it’s better.”

Susan and Bradford “Biff” Andrews are retired teachers who have been outdoor people all their lives, exploring and enjoying the woods, swamps, rivers and beaches throughout the region for many years. Email them at