Planting the seeds of doubt

The 1956 movie, “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” was definitely a scary science fiction film that I think was remade in 2017.

I was old enough in 1956 to understand that it was just a movie, but recent new reports have brought the film to the forefront of my memories. For those readers who have not been scared by this acclaimed film noir it was about giant seed pods that sucked up the bodies and personalities of humans. If that is not scary I do not know what is.

If you are wondering what “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers” has to do with an outdoor column, let me say that any invasive species can and has threatened our ecosystem. That can be more frightening than any science fiction movie.

If you have any doubts just think about the possible threats from those strange seeds that have shown up in mailboxes. There is no identification on these seed packets other than what appears to be Chinese writing on the outside. I don’t know about you, but I am not about to plant any seeds from China.

The USDA agrees with me and warns that at the very least these seeds could germinate into another invasive plant. Now I don’t expect giant seed pods to form and suck up my friends and neighbors, but I will err on the side of caution. We have already been infested with invasive flora and fauna like kudzu and carp. Both can take over our environment in a hurry.

Kudzu can grow at a rate of one foot per day, and can smother out other desirable plants. Attempts to eradicate kudzu have just not been successful and the problem persists, especially in the south. Kudzu is also a problem right here close to home.

Multiflora rose is another invasive plant and I have fought a war with it ever since the government recommended it as cover for wildlife, and its use as a “living fence.” This dastardly plant does provide wildlife cover in the beginning but my experience has been that it eventually overcomes the same cover until it is no longer useful to certain wildlife.

Dealing with multiflora rose can be a blood-letting experience. The thorns on the vines are shaped like fish hooks and once they hook into you there is no easy way to back out of the bush without tearing off a chunk of your hide. I believe that planting this nasty plant is now illegal and I wish it had never been introduced to our fragile environment.

Multiflora rose was not the only species introduced with good intentions. The common carp that so many anglers hate was introduced to be a sport fish as well as to provide delicious eating. It failed as a delicacy but I must admit that if you want to test yourself and tackle carp can provide sport. These copper-clad brutes do not come willingly into the boat.

I’ve fished for carp with line and reel, and pursued them with my bowfishing rig, but the problem has always been what do I do with the fish I catch?

This is a real problem with my bow as bowfishing cannot be catch and release. As for eating carp I once tried smoking one, but with limited success, and most sportsman’s club members tried only a tiny morsel to prove their bravery.

So why are carp even here? It seems that in some countries carp are regularly eaten. So it must be an acquired taste. A Jewish friend once told me she ate gefilte fish, but some research told me that a lot was added to ground gefilte fish to make it palatable.

Maybe some day I should try grinding up a carp bones and all to see if I can make it something I might eat and enjoy. My theory is that if carp tasted like walleyes, we would have to put restrictive creel limits on them. I don’t think that will ever happen.

There is little we can do about invasive plants, animals, and fish that have been intentionally or accidently introduced to our environment, but we can be more careful in the future.

Let’s begin by not planting and strange seeds that come in the mail. I don’t want to learn that my readers have been absorbed by some giant bean pod. And even Linus should be careful around the Great Pumpkin.


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