In a normal year, July is the month that Oregon nature lovers turn their energy to tending their gardens and getting ready for hiking deeper into the mountains. Sugar snap peas have been harvested to be replaced by pole beans. We maintain attention to the flower beds now that our favorites have settled into their pattern of blooming until the frosts arrive in the fall. Annuals like marigolds and zinnias are getting established, while early lilies have their leaves withering and their bulbs enter summer dormancy. The alstroemerias are special: they give us cut flowers for long lasting, colorful bouquets while keeping the garden overflowing with abundance.
There are some dark strands of anxiety that enter our appreciation of nature. In the past, our main worry was backpacking into the high country too early, before the mosquito level dropped off. Droughts have added terrible fire seasons, restricting where we can go camping. Forest trees are dying. Now a virus pandemic clamps a hold on what we can do.
We are cursed by the failure of our government leaders (particularly the evil imbecile who is our president) to deal with multiple crises. We are facing unchecked climate change, uncontrolled COVID-19 spread, gutting of environmental protection policies and social unrest brought on by an explosion of anger over civil injustice. Naturalists cannot in good conscience withdraw quietly into the woods. Future naturalists depend on us being politically vociferous in every way we can.
We need to write, march, donate. Kneel to worship flowers.