The Green Menace

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I found this site a couple of days ago; it’s scraping streetview data to show the urban decay of various properties in Detroit over the past several years.

Creeping Green Death

I’ve looked at it several times since the initial viewing, and I’ve had very different reactions each time.

First it was just “Ooof, Detroit looks rough, and it seems like it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

When I looked a day later, I found it heartening how quickly nature will reclaim a space. Within the space of a year, some of the houses are almost invisible under a layer of foliage.

And then I looked another day later, and I suddenly viewed the encroaching greenery as menacing. Like zombies, the plant kingdom is marching towards us, slowly but surely, trying to choke us out and wrap their creeping vines around our necks. Looking out my back window, there’s a row of raspberries with menacing briars, and past that a line of grape vines that make annual attempts to engulf my trees. “Look out, they’re coming right for us!”

Yesterday I went hiking in Forest Park, and took a break in the middle to lie in the shade under the fronds of a fern. I thought about the vegetal threat, and then started picturing it from the plant’s side. I can just picture the fern cackling to itself. “You fool, you’ve fallen right into my clutches. Yes, that’s right, nap in a carefree fashion while I bring closer your inevitable doom! First I will… hey… where are you going? Come back! Sigh. I almost had that one.”

And then later as I was hiking I could image Carl (the fern’s name was Carl) boring the fuck out of his green brethren for the next month. “Hey, did I tell you guys about the hiker I nearly caught? I swear, he was this big!” “Jeezus Carl, only about a dozen times, give it a rest why don’t you.”

I live an active fantasy life.

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