First Do No Harm

One of our mountain bike rides takes us through an open space conservancy that has been generously left open to the public to enjoy sans motorized vehicles. A few years ago some of the hillsides were seeded with gazania seeds (a particularly hardy type of daisy) so, when we get winter showers, at the perfect time of year, the bloom is breathtaking.

The sanctuary is bisected by a busy road and the flower display is visible to passing motorists. Lovely! But no, viewing them from the road, or walking up the dirt path that allows a closer look, doesn’t satisfy the narcissists who are compelled to tramp with the entire family to the middle of the slope, to take images of themselves. By the end of this three-day weekend, the hillside will be a mess of trampled flowers, never to go to seed, never to bloom again.

I try ever so hard to keep my mouth shut, knowing that the type of person who so cluelessly and selfishly despoils such a wonder doesn’t want to hear my opinion. But…yesterday, with Sally egging me on, I approached a family who was wading through the blooms. I gently suggested that their foray into the field made it less likely there would be subsequent mass blooms next year and other visitors would not enjoy the trampled flowers.

The man of the family took umbrage at my intrusion into his rightful enjoyment. His initial retort was that I didn’t own the hillside and I couldn’t tell him what to do. I agreed that I did not. He followed with the argument that the flowers had been here for thousands of years with no help from me. When I pointed out that this was conservancy property and that the flowers had been seeded, he countered with his erudite opinion that he paid more taxes than I did. It was obvious that reason was not his strong suit, so I bid him farewell and pedaled away.

I returned that way again today, and again found hoards of people following the paths made by their predecessors, looking for an undisturbed area where they could pose for their own selfie. Undaunted, I reminded several groups that the flowers were fragile and wouldn’t return if they were trampled. To my pleasure, most of the people acted truly grateful to have been enlightened. Being an eternal optimist, I take hope. We friends of the earth must speak up, even if we are not always heard.

Both of the above images were taken from the dirt road. No flowers were injured in the making of this post.

11 thoughts on “First Do No Harm

  1. For all the advertising in the Lake Elsinore that is saying “stay off the flower fields,” and telling us that there is no parking anywhere the flowers, you’d think that people would get the point, and drive on by, enjoying the view of the flowers and moving on so others can enjoy them! Yes — I guess I am a dreamer, but it makes me angry that people don’t respect the natural beauty that is around them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are not alone, Janet. In fact, I don’t believe we are in the minority. It’s just that it takes so few narcissists to spoil it for everyone. And that’s why I’m determined to speak up and gently shame those who behave shamefully. One of the irrational man’s arguments was that he could do as he pleased because “there were no signs”, as if he hadn’t learned in kindergarten to stay out of the neighbors’ flower beds.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How sad that people believe there must be signs everywhere telling us what we may or may not do. And how beautiful the conservancy must be in the areas that are less accessible to destruction by thoughtless people!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a lovely field of flowers, alright! I’m jealous. We have a great hiking hillside in the Columbia Gorge called the Mosier Plateau, but it won’t be in bloom for a couple more months. The hike is pretty easy and the flowers along the hike and view from the top equally breathtaking. There’s also a pioneer cemetery there with a resident that shares my birthday – not my day of birth, for the record. Can you imagine the care involved in choosing a hillside overlooking one of the most gorgeous sights in Oregon as a final resting place for loved ones in the middle of a journey like the Oregon Trail? If only we treated each other with the same reverence these days, we might be able to assume the safety of wildflowers…perhaps even the planet.
    The best part is that these wildflowers are off the highway with poor parking at the trailhead, so it’s lightly trafficked.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve seen the Columbia Gorge and it is breathtaking even without spring flowers. It would be ideal if open spaces were also road-free spaces. Most of the people who are insensitive to nature, never walk farther than the distance from the Walmart parking lot to the housewares at the back of the store.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely beautiful flowers! What lovely photos. And proof you don’t need to trample flowers. It would be easy for a person to stand in a spot not disturbing the flowers and yet have them in the background. Good for you for sharing your information. peace to you


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s