What is essential?

How does one determine what is and isn’t essential? Consider this caterpillar; is it essential?

caterpillar top

Catocala ilia

It’s a cool caterpillar that lives in oak leaf litter. It flips over to show its pinkish-purple belly, thus playing dead.

underwing moth

Eventually it will finish its transformation to the Underwing Moth.


Underwing Moth

These moths can do considerable damage to herbaceous plants and are, therefore, considered undesirable because, hey, we all love our herbaceous plants.

Therefore, you might say the Underwing Moth is not essential.

But, wait, birds eat moths and birds are essential, right?

Or are they?

How many people do you know who care about birds? I know a few but most of the people I come into contact with don’t give a rat’s ass about birds. Or herbaceous plants, for that matter.

Well, I like birds.

great blue heron

I like Great Blue Herons…

American Goldfinch

and I like American Goldfinches…

Northern cardinal

…and I like female Northern Cardinals, even ones with conjunctivitis…

tufted titmouse

and Tufted Titmice…

rose-breasted grosbeak

and female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks…

ruby-throated hummingbird

and of course I like Ruby-throated Hummingbirds…

Mallard ducklings

and you know I LOVE ducks.

Okay, but wait, are ducklings essential?

mallard ducks

Based on a cuteness scale, they’re damn essential, but to the guy who drives his jet ski on the river, steering for the ducks in his path, I would venture to guess he doesn’t consider them essential, except for playing target practice (jerk).

The adult ducks in the flock don’t consider the ducklings essential either, only the hen does. The others have no problem stomping on the little ones if they’re blocking the corn.

Why am I discussing what is essential and what isn’t, you might be asking? First off, it has nothing to do with COVID-19 and which businesses are considered essential and which aren’t, although I must ask why liquor stores were deemed essential when ice cream shops weren’t. Or why aren’t elderly people considered essential? If you don’t know what I’m referring to you must not watch FOX News or Tucker Carlson (jerk).

Moving on.

Here’s a quiz: Choose what is essential.

If you chose the dragonfly, good for you, because one dragonfly eats 30 to hundreds of mosquitoes per day, while Mitch McConnell doesn’t. Nor does he eat worms, even though he resembles a turtle.

Mitch McConnell

Okay, okay, politics aside, I have a reason for jumping on the essential versus nonessential bandwagon. There is a man in my neighborhood, who shall remain unidentified, who will be cutting down several large oak trees.

It’s none of your business, you might shout, and, if it didn’t affect me directly, you would be correct. But you see, the loss of those trees will change the dynamics of my yard. Plus, birds use the trees for nesting, and bats use the trees for nesting, and owls, and squirrels, and, and…damn it, trees clean our air and give us oxygen, and, screw it, I LIKE TREES.

garden (2)

This man I’m referring to isn’t a spiteful man; he’s not mean or unkind. He brakes for turtles and even moves them from the road when he can. And I’m sure his reasons for cutting down the trees are valid.

Plus, you’re right, it is none of my business what he does with his trees. Just because I consider trees essential doesn’t make it so.


This raises an important question–am I essential?

Are you?

Rainbows are definitely essential…

double rainbow

but what about groundhogs?


Questions to ponder on the hot, sticky nights here in my little corner of the Concord River.

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mio ​​immortale.

About tinthia

Wondering, searching, and wandering, I'm an earth witch with a desire to get it right in my lifetime. The flow of the river feeds my inner goddess and fuels my soul. Blessed be. :}
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8 Responses to What is essential?

  1. Greg Giroux says:

    I’m thinking of you, Cindy. You are most certainly essential. Thank you for sharing the beauty you find – the easy and the not so easy.

  2. Dianna Solari says:

    Your garden is beautiful and thank you I learn so much from you about the birds and ducks.

  3. Dianna Solari says:

    I don’t understand how someone can cut trees down along the river they suck up the water which we need when we have a flood. I know when they cut the trees to build the new houses along the river they had to replace them with new trees.

  4. Bob says:

    Every living thing has has a role to play or it wouldn’t be here.

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