I took a walk at the Bluesky Ecological Reserve in Poway yesterday – first time in a couple of years I think. And right at the entrance, there’s this sign…
Now what’s going on here? Wild Cucumber (Marah macrocarpus) is a native plant to Southern California, and every year in Spring, it begins to grow from a big, tuberous root, and climbs on other plants, using them as support – it’s a vine (photo of the vine; photo of the flowers). This apparently leads some people to think that it is a parasitic plant – and they pull it off the plant it climbs!
This says so many things about us humans… not only are we ignorant of our natural environment and native plants, no – in an overhasty attempt to “fix” what doesn’t need any fixing, and based solely on some personal perception bubble, we actually destroy it.
I hope the person who did this walked away red-faced and embarrassed when the preserve management put up that sign… (and a twisted part of my brain thinks that adding “Please help remove some Poison-oak instead!” would probably have a more intense learning effect;-).