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Sarah Cunningham's picture

So much has already been written on our joint ramble with the seniors that I don't have much to add. Yes, it was it was interesting to remember more about our geology session: when it came time to share it with others cerain things resurfaced that I hadn't thought about since the day. Like relating the history of Bryn Mawr College not only to the stones it's built from, and where they came from, but also to the exrtaordianry Bryn Mawr woman geologist who named them! My other favorite moment was the vine-swinging. Three seniors in a row became inspired to emulate Tarzan: the first quite cautiously, then when nothing bad happened the second and third more boldly, ending with a real swing that caused the vine to let go and slowly come snaking down! On the way to the graveyard we saw a huge chunk of (I think) tulip tree sticking into the ground, probably blown off in the hurricane? And I loved the overgrownm alive but also a bit otherwordly atmosphere of the graveyard itself. 

I have to rant again just a little bit about all the talk of "invasive" species. Firstly, as I like to say, humans have a lot of damn gall calling other species invasive! And the implication of moral depravity in plants which "take over" and "destroy" other plant species seems weird to me. They're just trying to make a living like anyone else. Do we condemn them for being successful? 



Barbara's picture

Now I understand better about

Now I understand even better about your comments that "the seniors are a little wild!" lol

sara.gladwin's picture

invasive species

I wonder though if "invasive" species is more a comment on the people that brought them here less so than a comment on the nature of the plant? I also have been conflicted about the language of these plants...

Shengjia-Ashley's picture

"Invasive" Tobacco

Good point!

Some of the invasive plants are brought to its place by careless people, but I believe a good proportion of them are brought to a foreign place by “invasive” people.

Tobacco is a native plant in North and South America. Tobacco plants consume nutrients at a higher rate than most crops. Its cultivation is responsible for biodiversity losses. And the use of Tobacco is responsible for many health problems. However, as a highly profitable plant, the plant had “invaded” to all over the wolrd. The sailors spread Tobacco to Europe unintentionally, but its spread to other parts of the world is closely related to the wars and colonization. It was introduced to Korea by Hideyoshi Invasion from Japan. It was brought to West Africa by Portuguese and soon become the preferred  transaction in slave trades.

sara.gladwin's picture

environmental colonizers

This is really interesting, thank you! I wonder if the tobacco plant that has been spread to other places behaves like a weed in those places? By that I guess I'm wondering if in those places where the tobacco is non-native, through the process of it's growth, does it strangle out other plants? Does an invasive or non-native species always harm or have destructive effects on it's environment? I've been trying to figure out the difference between "invasive" plants and "weeds" or if there isn't one.... when I looked it up, I still wasn't necessarily clear about it. Interestingly though, I also found out there are native invasive species as well, in which an animal (such as deer) or plant becomes invasive in it's native environment. Often, this seems to occur in relationship with human interference in a habitat. However, there were other environmental factors that could cause a certian species to become a "colonizer" of it's habitat, such as environmental disasters, like wildfires. I thought the language used in this was particular interesting, especially catagorizing particular groups as colonizers of a space. I actually also somewhat answered my original question, and found that not all non native species are harmful, such as goldfish, which apparently are often outside their native range but harmless despite it's non-native status.

Shengjia-Ashley's picture

Sarah, did you make anything

Sarah, did you make anything yet with the vine?

Sarah Cunningham's picture

not yet...

not yet!

wanhong's picture

How about a swing?

Your vine could definitely be an awesome swing, but doing so might hurt its feelings...