Ground Control to Major Tom

BOWIELessons & Reflections from the National Butterfly Center

You may have noticed I haven’t posted a blog in over six months.

I haven’t written one either, just in case you’re wondering.

In order to produce something worthy of sharing there has to be some creative spark, and inspiration has been in short supply, of late.  Not that I haven’t met fascinating people or heard beautiful bird song (the Long-billed Thrasher is my favorite); not that I haven’t watched the sun rise or the flame dance…but this Border Wall drama has drained me and sent me into a state of diapause.

Most people hear that word and think of Monarchs, who enter reproductive diapause when it is time to head south for the winter.  It is defined as “a period of suspended development…especially during unfavorable environmental conditions”; also, as a physiological state of dormancy with very specific initiating and inhibiting conditions; spontaneous interruption of development.

But forget all that.  Everything can be summed up pretty well with David Bowie’s Space Oddity.  This surreal experience, shadow boxing with the specter of 26 new miles of Border Wall through the Conservation Corridor, feels very much like, “Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do.”

Driving to and from the center, sitting in a tin can, I can’t help but contemplate the absurdity of our situation and the significance of Ziggy Stardust, an extraterrestrial messenger sent to warn humanity we are on the brink of destruction. That was almost fifty years ago.

Today, the rape of our landscape and natural resources, from water to wildlife, THAT IS THE WALL leaves me longing for spiders from mars.  Although the wisdom of Nature and of Ecclesiastes have always given me peace of mind, I struggle to find comfort in them, now.  Instead of resting in the reassurance that there is a season for everything and there is nothing new under the sun; I am frustrated by the ignorant, destined to repeat History, and by the familiarity of arrested development, which is fueling my bigly desire for eight-legged emissaries of doom.

As spring returns to the Rio Grande Valley, I am suddenly inspired to say, “Bring on the alien arachnids!”  They may be our only hope against a power-hungry lunatic’s impetuous campaign promise and the stupid (and contagious) sycophants surrounding him.  Damn, I do hope they crash his parade!

Here’s my #NoWall playlist (available on Spotify), in case you care to listen while Rome burns:

Space Oddity, David Bowie
Under Pressure, Queen
Another Brick in the Wall, Pink Floyd
Sympathy for the Devil, The Rolling Stones
Know Your Rights, The Clash
Psycho Killer, Talking Heads
Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
In God’s Country, U2
All Along the Watchtower, Jimi Hendrix
Stuck in the Middle with You, Stealers Wheel
Suffragette City, David Bowie



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Inside the National Butterfly Center

Hours of Operation

September - March
8:00 - 5:00

April - August
8:00 - 5:00

Come See Us

National Butterfly Center
3333 Butterfly Park Drive
Mission, TX 78572
GPS Coordinates:
26.180243 -98.364973

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