Sunday, November 4, 2012

Obama/Biden and the Monarch Waystation

Obama_Early Voting

Week of October 28, 2012:

Monday: Short evening run (20 minutes)

Tuesday: Off (cooked a fantastic dinner!)

Wednesday: Bike ride for groceries

Thursday: Morning run (22 minutes)

Friday: Bike ride to Target and grocery store

Saturday: Bike ride for more errands + 20-minute run around the park

Total minutes run this week: 102(!)

I had the most charming encounter yesterday!  I was riding my bike around town to do errands when I rode past a house with a wild-looking front yard and several official-looking signs.  The signs declared this spot a “Monarch Waystation” and an “Official Wildlife Center” (or something similar); the latter sign described how the space had all the necessary features for wildlife to nest, eat, and raise young.  There were no fewer than five butterflies and one bumblebee fluttering among wildflowers and hearty plants.  Part of the yard was lightly wooded, too.  The whole thing looked busy yet serene: nature run wild in the space of someone’s front yard.

I was absolutely enchanted with it.  I’ve never been a big fan of lawns, and in my adult years, I have found myself drawn to domestic spaces that have been (more or less) handed back to nature for safekeeping.  As a biologist, the interconnectedness of everything within an ecosystem has always fascinated me; I believe the more we see ourselves as separate from nature, the more damage we do to our surroundings and ourselves.  That’s also why I’ve been drawn to so-called “paleo”-influenced movements, such as the paleo diet and books about human evolution such as Sex at Dawn.  It’s not that I think modern lifestyles are the worst thing ever, but rather that we are animals and part of the larger world.  It’s with humility and awe that I see an Official Wildlife Center in someone’s yard and think, Wow, that’s amazing.

Interestingly, I’ve seen at least two front yards which have this wild vibe to them, and both yards have Obama/Biden signs out front.  If that doesn’t seem noteworthy, remember that I live in Republicanland, where Romeny/Ryan signs are plentiful but Obama/Biden signs are few.  Republicans are too hostile toward conservation and sustainability issues for me to feel comfortable voting for a Republican presidential candidate.  On that note, American readers, make sure you make it to the polls before the end of Tuesday!  Or do like that famous man up top did and vote early, if you can.  I’ll be voting on Tuesday—I always vote on Election Day—and I think you can guess who I’d rather see in the White House in 2013.

Happy Election Week!  I can’t wait for Tuesday night. 


  1. After living in a swing state for the last two presidential elections, I feel decidedly uninspired about going to vote tomorrow. Alaska's 3 electoral votes will go to Romney and I still am feeling out the local landscape of other political issues.

    1. Fair enough. Until moving to Texas, I lived in a very blue state, Illinois. It's exciting for me to be a political minority here. I feel like I'm getting this great education because there is such a contrast between what I believe and what a lot of my neighbors believe. I haven't encountered any vitriol over national politics, but gender politics is a different story entirely. I think I can screen potential boyfriends based on their gender politics alone.