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The hatch happens annually in beautiful synch with the seasons. As anyone who has lived here more than briefly can attest, there are numbers of hatch events or occurrences that take place; one following another or at times overlapping. An early hatcher (I’m pushing the concept) is the dandelion, up early and eager to show itself in the yearly rush to grow and propagate. Aside from slight usefulness as a salad ingredient (I’ve consumed some – not awful but not an especially fine taste either.) and a plant loved by small children for its supplies of free bouquets. If you grew up anywhere within dandelion range you remember picking the golden flowers with heads almost instantly drooping. You remember the sagging mass refusing to revive in the glass of water used as a vase, and you remember many years later and with clarity the stickiness dandelion milk left on small fingers. A nuisance in a lawn, the successful plant is no doubt useful to soils by its long deep root bringing up nutrient from below where it is eventually released at the surface to be passed on and on in fertile riot of whisper quiet green.
Pollen is another early hatch, one triggering a flow of cash from the many drug store sales we make to help many of us cope with the profusion of pollen that covers car windshields in a glaze of golden fog and provides small bays on inland lakes with temporary covers of pollen yellow skin. This is pollen that failed its’ by-fate-and-chance reproductive task. Slowly settling to lake or pond bottom these pollens eventually form a clear sedimentary line marking with precision the start of this year’s growth atop the uncounted succession held in the bottom much and mud. In ways “hatch” in some form or other is what nature is all about, though some hatches, of course, are more innocent or pleasing to a mammal than the initial spring hatch of black fly or mosquito to plague us. At times these pests (regardless the foolproof trick employed to defeat them) can end an outing and drive people to the safety of indoors.
We find safety in the indoor shelter of our homes, but this security, too, is open to attack from this hatch or that. It’s almost bad as a terror attack to be quietly talking with friends or watching a mild amusement on the screen when a brown spot noticed on your arm moves and you discover it is a tick about to use your hospitality to the fullest by turning you into a host. Even the slowest among us move rapidly at such a discovery, one made all the more exciting if you’re safely in bed half-awake when the itchy spot is felt and lights-on turns out to be TICK! How quickly can bed and body be stripped for thorough review? Search done and things put back in order, you may as well grab a book because an invader while we are comfortably at rest is more than an intruder. Even flushed down the drain (you saw it disappear) it is a thief of sleep if not your blood.
Another home invasion pest is the ant, carpenter or otherwise. I’ve been on wilderness shores on a warm, humid day when an ant hatch burst from its nest to send out its armies of colonizers; each if successful able in time to accomplish the same feat of conquest. If you’ve lived north any length of time you’ve likely spotted lone big-fat ants hurrying along poking into each small place of opening as they go. These are colonizers. Originally winged to take them a distance from the home nest to avoid competition, the big-fat ant’s first job is to knock and rub its wings off. You find those where they fell, though not everyone recognizes what is seen. The wingless colonizer has one aim; a new colony. In the forest a stressed or fallen tree becomes a perfect target. Any opening will do for these colonizers to burrow in and start producing clone-kin. To a colonizer your house is no more than a peculiar specie of tree anchor rooted onto a strange type squared gray stone. The first year you may see no evidence of the colony growing, but eventually some of the clone-kin now living in your walls will be seen. They rarely seem much to worry about. Many of us worry not at all and simply crush the stray and they spot and casually sweep up the bit of “sawdust” that appears. We can live with these invading colonizers in apparent harmony and coexistence until, quite literally, their numbers bring down the house by eating its support until only a thin tracery remains and walls begin to collapse and buckle.
If of a gentle and pacifying nature you could do better than merely coexist by inviting in new colonizers to share with you the fruits of nature. In nature as in civilization or society, however, coexistence has a finite life. Something will dominate. Using harmony in nature as basis for a society rests on a shaky foundation. A person can say deer and bison coexisted on the plains, but it was a different experience if you were a deer. Either finding or seeking equality where it does not exist is a habit best left among the many notions of happy failures. In my view there is no coexistence with divinity in leadership or inspiration. Divinity if the Bison of social orders.
My favored (as a watcher) hatch was delayed this year. One day the streets of North Shore Ville were chill, gray, and rainy until a flush of warmer and sun brought the summer hatch carrying green in purse and pocket or plastic. As if shot from a people nest they appear in stock forms of tourist hat, name brand shirt, shorts, and happily barefoot in the latest visitor branding sandal. Most claim they are here for the experience, one that seems heavily based on the antlike harvest of the many good things we’ve imported from China. It is heartwarming to seem them happily clutching bag-in-hand. Better yet, their treasures of today will be recycled far away.