Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In the Pink

One of the nice things about Temple Valley ("one of Earth's minor depressions") is that it’s fairly easy to climb out of, even with a young child clinging to your back. If you climb far enough to the east you’ll hit upon Mitsuike Park. It’s a little urban oasis that has been voted one of “Japan’s top 100 cherry blossom spots.” Yesterday afternoon my wife, Em, and I took a walk beneath the park’s perfect petals all painted in a pretty palette of varied shades of pink and it really earned the distinctive honor bestowed upon it.

It was the proverbial picture perfect day. One picture I can’t seem to forget is the sight of some members of the local volunteer conservation corps wading chest deep into the murky waters of one of the park's three ponds. They were engaged in an ongoing project to rid the pond of some non-native aquatic species that had been brought here from abroad and left to navigate the wild waterways of Yokohama all on their own. Now just as they had begun to thrive in their new found home they were being plucked one by one and unceremoniously dumped into barrels to be taken who knows where. 

They do this from time to time and it always makes me feel just a little uneasy. We share such a similar history, these invasive species and I. 

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