Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This End Up

So this is what it has come to.
Nineteen reports written this season, mostly about rare plants.
It's a formidable task, toiling beneath a relentless and deafening barrage of deadlines. Sitting on an orange crate in this unheated office, typing on some antique Royal beneath a flickering light bulb, brushing away the flakes of lead paint that fall from the ceiling, gnawing on my leather belt to stave off the pangs of hunger. My shoes disappeared long ago. I think that each report was due at an earlier date than the previous report. There, another one hits the door. I dive beneath the desk. I jump at the sound of the water pipes rattling, my nerves are so shot.
I had an idea. To solve the problem, I started writing the bibliography first, then worked backward. That way, I could say that I was finishing up when I started and say so with the utmost confidence. I figured, the longer I wrote, the earlier it would get. Everybody comes out a winner and I am free. But as the report progressed, the less I knew and, when I had reached the end, it got real vague - the professionals call it abstract - and then I didn't know anything at all, as if nothing ever happened. This is what I know now and sadly, I am still confident. And then these people claiming to be my clients whom I do not recognize pummel me with questions I cannot answer and threaten me with things I cannot comprehend. I am sure of that. This is not working out as I had hoped.
I am way too tired to make any sense at this moment and it is entirely possible that this condition predates the report, in which case it can be expected that some agency out there will be announcing some revolutionary findings in the ecological fields, sending the demagogues scurrying for another bandwagon. I can hear them now: We must act! We must be bold!
Man, I often wonder if anyone actually reviews the data in my spreadsheets.
So, before anyone storms the Bastille, maybe they should look at the numbers. I mean, I have no idea what I mean.

Have a look:
Eriogonum visheri survey 2006 - Grand River National Grassland
Chenopodium subglabrum survey 2007 - Grand River National Grassland
Talinum parviflorum survey 2008 - Cedar River National Grassland

Monday, December 08, 2008

No Sign of Life

I hear whispers but they might be leaves rustling.
This blog itself threatens all claims I may make to a presence in the blog-o-sphere. It is unnerving to see that nothing out there is responding to what I am not saying, raising questions about us all. That is, Am I not OK, are you not OK. Like a faulty probe lowered down into a mineshaft, one side wonders if all were overtaken by carbon monoxide, the other wonders if all were vaporized in some atomic blast. Could we all be right?
As it is, we spent a summer slogging about the northern tier of states in search of vanishing and nonviable species and then a fall thrashing about the keyboard, trying to remember it all. On the other end of that thought string there is an idea and it might be recalled, but the string has come undone, the images spin off in all directions, and all I see is a flurry of species, like a deck of cards tossed in the air. Is there anything in there? Deep down, I wonder if I am really asking this.
This will be all over with soon enough, much like the vanishing species, and nobody will know what it is that they have lost. Silence, memory, I have to believe that I am well.