I wasn’t so much thinking about bug transport, though that’s an issue that could no doubt be linked to roving ways. What I was thinking about was the wholesale destruction of a place by people who are not from it and have no heart for it–who mouth platitudes but who were not bred up to know the land.

My most lasting image of that sort of thing is a small mountain that stood near Cullowhee, my home in North Carolina. On top stood one of the few remaining older houses in the area, a simple two-story white house surrounded by a ring of maples, yellow in the fall. Now the trees are gone. The house is gone. The mountain is gone. There is a Walmart and a parking lot and a lot of congestion on the busy road between Cullowhee and Sylva.

The image of the mountain, the house, and the trees that are not there comes into my mind so often! But it is the same all over. Outside Cooperstown was a long lyrical passage of low hills and farmlands that in the past decade has become junk and baseball camps. Cooperstown is mightily zoned, but that just pushes greed and ugliness to its outer edges.