Native Places by Frank Harmon

 

Native Places, the book, will be published by ORO Editions on October 1st, 2018. To learn more click here

 

A COLLECTION OF THOUGHTS AND HAND-DRAWN SKETCHES THAT ILLUSTRATE THE VALUE OF LOOKING CLOSELY AT BUILDINGS AND PLACES. 

 

Native Places Blog
 
 

Piedmont Prairie
let the bees send the message

I’ve watched students walking past my house to the university for years, heads-down, dodging traffic, all the while texting on cell phones. I saw one student eating cereal from a bowl he held in front on himself, a new wrinkle of behavior the World Health Organization calls “distracted walking.”

Here’s a path where no one is distracted, mown into a prairie in Franklin County, North Carolina. Two months ago the prairie was burned to the earth. Today it’s bursting with blue stem grass taller than a person.

Explorers as early as 1540 reported prairies, or “savannas,” in Piedmont Carolina. This Franklin County prairie was established 15 years ago. On a recent June morning, dragonflies flitted over milkweed flowers and honeybees reported their location with a natural GPS predating cell phones by 100 million years or so.

In Xi’an, China, the city manager has ordered brightly painted sidewalk lanes specifically for cell phone users. And in Augsburg, Germany, stoplights embedded in the curb prevent cell users from walking into traffic.

Do we really want to walk in a digitally tethered bubble? For me, I think I’ll visit more prairies and let the bees send the message.

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