Invasive Species

Recently, my husband and I were walking down a dirt foot-path through an abandoned tract of land that lies between Minnehaha Park and Coldwater Spring, part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, located in Minneapolis, MN. https://www.nps.gov/places/coldwater-spring.htm

Along the path, I noticed some lovely blue flowers and I took a picture, hoping to identify them later. When, to my dismay, I noticed a man pulling up these flowers and putting them into a trash bag. We approached and asked what he was doing. He explained that he was a volunteer gardener and these plants are chicory, an invasive species. He said they needed to get rid of them before they went to seed and spread into the Coldwater Spring Recreation Area, displacing the native plants.

Chicory

While walking through Coldwater Spring, I noted the absence of chicory so, apparently, their efforts have been successful, so far. I wondered about how and why some things are deemed invasive, and regretted that the pretty blue flowers fell into that category. After all, if we went back far enough, wouldn’t humans also fall into the invasive category? At one point, this land was covered by a glacier, and everything, including us, came after it melted.

Invasive Carp

Later, I saw a TV news program about DNR fishermen netting invasive bighead carp. I was less regretful about the removal of this invasive species. The carp are ugly and they displace the natural ecosystem, out competing fish that people want. Apparently, you can eat carp, but they are very bony so most people don’t want to bother with them. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasive-carp/index.html

Covid Virus

Covid-19 is another invasive species. Like all living things, the Covid virus seeks to live and reproduce. Unfortunately, that involves invading people’s bodies and sickening, sometimes killing, them. I have no regrets about the complete eradication of this invader! In fact, the sooner the better. The way to rid ourselves of this invasion is not gardeners with garbage bags or fishermen with nets, but medical personnel with a vaccine. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html

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