On a recent jaunt to Austin for some farmy-related fun, Alex and I had the good fortune to stay with some amazing, good-looking people, eat and drink lazily and zealously, and get some very much-needed baby time.
It's a wild assertion to make, but babies might be one of the best things on earth. I know, I know...who likes babies? They smell good, fill your heart with joy, take the world as it comes and nestle in your arms like a warm baguette.
It's a wonder we have them, really.
It's a clever feat of nature that the miniature versions adults create-- their offspring-- are adorable. We're biologically motivated to care for our young as a means of preserving our species, but a dash of cuteness sure doesn't hurt.
Konrad Lorenz, the Nobel-prize winning zoologist, was a supporter of this observation of animal behavior. He was a smart European fella, and as he gives me the excuse to include cute animal photos, I'll expound further.
He worked with geese for years, developing hypotheses for instinctive behavior patterns, i.e. delving into the "whys" behind the weirdo stuff we animals do automatically.
His work also included research into our human affection for certain animals over others, or
the retention of childlike characteristics--such as big heads or large eyes--into adulthood.
I think he was way off.
However, it's worth noting that this theory applies in many way to plants as well. I mean, this is pretty darling:
And so, if you're hip to the idea that nature has us homo sapiens all figured out, then it makes perfect sense that
plants start out as cute babies as well.
We go to all this trouble of watering, coddling, and protecting them in their infancy not only for their promise of tasty bounty (undeniably the BIG motivator) but for the pleasure of mommy-ing their wee, vulnerable cellulose souls. Just minus the big ears.
The Texas Organic Farmers and Growers Conference was the reason for our Austin travels this past weekend, and it was a confidence-boosting, information-filled event to be sure. We geeked out with other Texas plant-lovers and picked the brains of wiser, sunburnt farmers to whom crop rotations are nothing new under the sun. (Thanks Glen at The Laughing Frog Farm!) It was great fun.
But I'll confess, nothing could beat how I felt seeing our formerly bare apple, plum and peach trees IN BLOOM as we drove up the gravel driveway home.
Tiny pink and green buds busting forth, peeking out amongst the branches. Soft unfolding blossoms. Simply adorable.
And you know what?
I never liked Tweety anyway.
*Special thanks to Monica and Kyle Langhorst for their permission to display the champion who is their son Nolan purely to draw people to this post. I'm devoted to your son forever.