I wrote this during a 2013 blogging challenge. So far this year, the dreaded purple boxes are not visible in my neighborhood, but it doesn't mean the emerald ash borer is any less of a threat. In fact, it is spreading into Eastern Massachusetts and Boston.
Our lives have always been in accommodation to nature, whether we realize that or not.
Let's hope the dreaded purple trap isn't on its way to a tree near you.
The Dreaded Purple Trap
Except for the three line, 5-7-5 syllable count, my "haiku" doesn't really qualify as true haiku. But since when has that kept me from my once a year effort to make true haiku fans cringe?
Today's haiku are based on something I saw the other day on a walk through my neighborhood near Johnson City, New York. My heart sank when I saw the dreaded purple box. Indeed, there are two ash trees, side by side, just blocks from where I live.
The magnificent ash
Survived kids, floods and squirrels,
Standing patient guard.
The ash borer came.
Will the purple trap find one?
What will happen now?
The emerald ash borer has arrived.
The last thing I wanted to do for Haiku Monday was write one about the emerald ash borer, which now is in 19 states in the United States, and threatens various types of ash trees, including the one that baseball bats are made from. The emerald ash borer is not the first invasive species (or fungus) that comes from overseas to endanger a beloved tree. And it will not be the last.
Just because the purple box traps that are put into trees (with a botanical lure) have appeared in my neighborhood doesn't mean the ash borer has. (These beetles are also attracted by blue and purple colors.) But it's not a good feeling, based on the past history of trees in the United States.
There was the American chestnut, brought low by a fungus.
There was the American Elm, many dead from a pathogen carried by the elm bark beetle. So many Elm Streets in our nation, so few elms left.
And now, we battle for our friends, the ash trees. Not just us here in the United States battle. Canadians battle. Meanwhile, in Europe, Norwegians and others battle an ash fungus.
It isn't a good time in which to be an ash tree.
Don't move firewood, we are told. Slow down the spread. Give scientists a chance to find a natural answer to this beetle.
Are beloved trees in your neighborhood or country endangered by a foreign foe?