June 23rd, 2011

Eucalyptus trees are weeds. They’re not indigenous to California, but they’re everywhere. And they’re tall and they’re strong and where they decide to grow, other things die.

They’re also very beautiful. Majestic yet they’ve come to tower over much of our coastline. Their distinct smell reaches further, even, than their spindly branches and to take a hike in Northern California is to bathe yourself in the refreshing shade and scent of eucalyptus trees.

We’re supposed to hate them. We’re told to look down upon whatever Australians infected us, and to mourn the loss of the native flora and fauna that couldn’t hold their ground. But I defy you to take a walk through the trails of San Francisco’s Presidio, for example, as I did just now, and not fall in love with eucalyptus trees by the end of the day.

And, anyway, if I’m going to start hating non-indigenous things whose occupation of space led to the death of native populations, I think I’ll start with skyscrapers.

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