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Monday, April 9, 2007

Propagation of Our Root-bound Cohorts

My January 16, 2007 blog entry, Invasion of the Alien Pods (, turns out to have been incomplete and its sensationalistic title essentially misleading. A comment from alert blog reader Cynthia astutely points out the incomplete part. She said, “And let us remember our dear animal companions who share the planet with us. Very helpful in assisting our root-bound cohorts with propagation.” Upon reflection, I realized also that the seed pods can’t possibly be ‘alien’. While it is fun to make metaphors about foreign invaders and the logistics of warfare as applied to vegetables, it is probably more informative to remember that plants share the same genetic code the rest of us do and that somewhere down the line, evidence implies, we all come from the same replicator. We are a big interconnected family, dependent on each other for our very lives.

The interrelationships between species are so complex that it leads many of us to assume that they have been put in place by an intelligent designer. However, given a process like natural selection and its resulting cumulative adaptations, scientists are beginning to see how complex design might be accomplished without supernatural intent.

At this date in the evolution of species, there are many alliances and treaties existing between the plant and animal world that aid both parties in their continued survival and propagation.

STRATEGY 59: Only Pooh Can Make This World Seem Right

Here, plants and animals forge an agreement.

PLANT: If you promise not to yank me out of the ground and kill me, I’ll let you eat this nice fruit I’ve prepared.


PLANT: (silently to self) Ha! That fruit is packed with seeds. When the animal poops several miles down the road, those seeds will be ejected with free fertilizer!

STRATEGY 42a /42b: Hitchhikers

PLANT #1: Damn it. That’s the second time this spring those large hairy migratory animals have come through here and trampled all over us. At this rate, we will never be able to spread into that distant yet promising field.

PLANT #2: I’ve noticed that those migratory animals have no problem moving around from field to field owing to the fact that they are not rooted into the soil.

PLANT #1: If only we had sharp pointy stickers or grappling hooks, we could maybe catch a ride.

PLANT #2: Hey, that gives me an idea.

STRATEGY 689: More Flies to Honey than Vinegar

Blog reader Cynthia kindly sent me this cool picture of a bee in action. I briefly wondered if perhaps a possible explanation for 'missing bees' ( alluded to below ) might be that camera enthusiast are gluing them to flowers in order to get sharp close-up pictures. Cynthia denies using glue and insists that no bees were hurt in the acquisition of this photo. It turns out that Cynthia is an artist based in New Mexico. You can visit her web-site and view her multi-media portfolio at Be sure to also check out her photos of 'Ancient Sites' and 'New Mexico' and see if you don't end up wanting to see it all for yourself.

PLANTS: Listen, tossing buckets of pollen into the wind is getting expensive. We need a more precise delivery system. Maybe we could convince you to handle some special deliveries for us.

ANIMAL: What’s in it for me?

PLANTS: We could maybe give you something sweet – a concentrated source of energy – as payment?

ANIMAL: Sounds good. How will I find the pollen and how will I know where to deliver it?

PLANTS: Geesh! Do we have to draw you a diagram?

THE NEWS: With reported losses of bees reaching up to 90 percent in some states, scientists have found no cure for what they labeled Colony Collapse Disorder. Official Mike Hansen told the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette that with honeybees dying at an alarming rate in 22 U.S. states the 2007 fruit harvest is at risk.

PLANTS: Oh crap!

PEOPLE: Oh crap!

STRATEGY 689: variation on a theme #22

PLANT #1: Free sugar! Free sugar!

ANIMALS: Yay! Free sugar!

PLANT #2: I don’t understand why you are giving away free sugar.

SCOTT: I don’t understand either, but it sure makes me curious.


SERPENT: When you eat of this tree, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

SCOTT: Really?

SCOTT: Hey! If we select only the best tasting apples over time to grow in our orchards, we end up with delicious apples! (These human selected apple trees may now be extra susceptible to disease owing to reduced genetic variety.) Gosh! This is tricky!

GOD: O.K. Who ate the fruit?

1 comment:

  1. Rats! You could have warned the bitten-in-childhood-by-vipers among us that there was something lurking below......

    (Oh, wait, you didn't mention rats at all.)



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