Friday, March 13, 2009

Ecology with Mike and Nancy

I took Ecology one semester in college and found it to be quite interesting. Everything seems to be in a delicate balance here on earth, but the minute we get involved the natural world gets thrown all out of whack.

For example, some smarty pants decided long ago to bring to America a few of every type of bird ever mentioned in a Shakespeare play or poem. Somewhere old William must have mentioned Starlings because 20 of them were released in Central Park. They liked it so well here that they spread across the nation causing the extinction of many other birds whose niche and food they competed so well for. Then there was the time when the Yellowstone folks came up with the bright plan to kill most of the predators around . . . and weren't they surprised when the next year they had millions of starving deer and elk and what not on their hands. The list goes on and on.

Anyway, I love the conversations I get to have with my husband. I'm not being a smart alec, I do (and if anyone is ever being a smart alec, it is Mike and not me anyway).

We read something on the news today about attempts to save the Juno Sucker. It only lives in a few lakes around here, but the Carp that live in these same lakes have been eating up all of the Juno Sucker's hiding place vegetation so the poor Juno is getting gobbled all up by predators. The plan is to remove like 2.5 million pounds of carp with in the next six months in an attempt to help the Juno recover.

I commented, "Poor Ecologists trying to solve these problems. I can just picture them sadly shaking their heads and saying, 'Well, I guess we can just try and catch millions of carp.'"

Mike replied, "I'm sure it won't even work," then, with a look of inspiration, "What they need to do is breed the Juno with Tiger Muskie (a fierce carp eating fish). "

"Nuh-uh," I quickly countered, "you know just what that would end up like. It would be like when they bred Honey Bees with African Bees and produced Killer Bees!"

"Yah," Mike agreed, "but the good thing about the Juno hybrid is that they wouldn't be able to chase you once you got out of the water . . . for more than a hundred yards anyway."

Then Mike suddenly recalled one sad bit of trivia that spoiled his full proof (although dangerous) plan, "I don't actually think Tiger Muskie can mate. I think they're sterile."

He was right. Turns out they are some hybrid themselves. Naturally our conversation then turned to why on earth hybrid creatures like Mules can't pro-create . . . and I will spare you readers that conversation, but for fun, here is one more little conversation from the other night when we were discussing my desire to run another marathon:

Mike: I think it would be more fun to run and win all the little local 5K's around. (Incidentally Mike isn't actually into running). . . . But the trouble is, no one wants a non local to win.

Me (laughing): No one even knows or pays attention to whether you are a local or not.

Mike: Oh yah? Well, they'd pay attention to a row of trophies!

How dull life would be with out my Mike to entertain me.

5 comments:

jami said...

i think the same thing about jason ... how dull life would be.

i think mike is hilarious! :) very funny ...

great pic of the two of you.

BS and the Kids said...

I would just love to hear some of your conversations-what a random topic, very entertaining and informative. You are both just too smart for your own good.

Krista said...

Sometimes being so smart can be a curse, don't you think? I don't like to stay naive but I hate knowing another thing that will make me worry. In Oz, there is a lot of problems from introduced species; rabbits being one of the worst. They have a big upset in the natural flora and fauna because of them. Wow! I almost sound smart! I love solving the world's problems with my hubby. Your photo is gorgeous, BTW.

Tia Juana said...

Go for the row of trophies.

Karen said...

I so enjoyed this post. You too are darling.

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