e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

The Joys of Generalists

Specialists are wonderful and I rely on them and their publications and websites to inform me about their specialties.

But...if you're a fish specialist stuck in a drought-stricken region with no streams...or a birder in midwinter up north...or a specialist in cycads far from anyplace cycads can grow....you're stuck until you can go somewhere else.  The generalist naturalist, on the other hand, always has *something* to rejoice in and learn about, no matter where she is. 

If there are no fish, maybe there are frogs.  If there are no frogs, maybe there are toads.  If there are no amphibians at all, maybe there are reptiles--snakes, lizards, tortoises.  If there are no reptiles, there may be birds or mammals.  There are sure to be invertebrates of some kind--insects, arachnids, sowbugs... and plants, if only a few. 

I thought of that looking out the window at a spiderweb.  The spiderweb is reflecting the most gorgeous flashes of blue and purple...why, I don't know.  What spider it is I don't know (yet), and soon the shade will be on it and it won't flash like that...in fact there's suddenly a cloud and the pretty flashes of color are gone.  But lots remains.  In every square yard (or meter) or even every square foot...there's so much to study, learn about, enjoy.

Tags: nature

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