Mount St. Helens


The Paradox of Enrichment

For John Bishop, evolutionary biologist at Mount St. Helens


Success can be sudden
and suddenly gone.
Richness can impoverish;
poverty can protect.
Dead wings feed petals;
petals feed winged beings.
Life is all about trading
lupine for larvae, larvae for lupine.
Can’t have a stable system
without disturbance.
Can’t grow too richly
without predation.
The boom is the bust:
thriving is the threat
to thriving: the secret
is what escapes the leaf-
mining moth.




Calligrapher and writer Christine Colasurdo is the author of Return to Spirit Lake: Life and Landscape at Mount St. Helens and The Golden Gate National Parks: A Photographic Journey. She is at work on a second book about the volcano.

Photo by Simmons B. Buntin.

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