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#a243 :: Seed pod

October 14, 2008

ENLARGEHollow, papery pods fall by the thousands from the trees lining Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles.

Barely weighing an ounce, they float down on the wind, carrying precious seeds to the cement-lined gutter, to be gathered roughly by street-sweeper brushes or washed down the storm drains and out to sea.

Millions of years of evolution and thousands of years of horticulture have gone into this act of procreation – which is made poetically futile by a few decades of urban planning.

If Darwin was right, have these trees reached their highest evolutionary state – a place where they exist only by a perfect symbiosis with an ecosphere of maudlin cityscapers and dutiful arborists?

Or are they merely en route to their genetic destiny – an unpopulated future when iron roots will burst through sidewalks to make way for spiky cementophagic seedlings that gnaw and tunnel their way to soil and water and dominance?

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