The goal of science is to build better moustraps
The goal of nature is to build better mice (anonymus)
Culture is very transient. The old romans already thought they had founded a everlasting culture, while we now excavate the remnants of their civilization.As it seems culture is in a everlasting fight with nature, each trying to conquer pieces of the opposites territory. Old buildings will be eaten away by plants and fungi, if they are not kept by frequent maintenance. Before you know it, foundations disappear under meters of soil.
If we do not keep on evacuating the spiders, their webs will very soon cover all of our ceilings.One time, waiting for my coach on Victoria Coach Station (London): I heard the following being announced:” 'Please do not feed the pigeons. We try to persuade them to find a better place elsewhere”.
In short; it seems like we are in a constant battle with nature, to keep it off our cultural parameters.
But in the end this is a lost case. For plants and animals the city looks like a strange, canyon-like landscape which harbours loads of niches. For human beings the city is a place where they like to live without too much nature.
Of course we like trees. But we are not really amused when the tarmac of the road is pushed away by their roots. Birds are a joy for eye and ear, until they and up in the jaws of a cat. In the end people do not fully appreciate nature for what it is. Somehow this explains why there are no real badlands to be found in the Netherlands. What remains in the Netherlands are a few, well trimmed parks, in which nature is conserved in a certain state of development. Real nature is savage and dangerous. The western Scottish Highlands are good example.
Then again, people can’t do without nature, not only for they are nature themselves, but also for they need a moment of peace and quiet.
This is not really strange, for the city is a environment filled with loads of incentives, most of them expressing danger.The majority of people we encounter in the city do not belong to our tribe. So the unconscious question is:”Friend or foe?” A tram which squeaks in its rails, sounds like a dying grazer, being mauled in the yaws of a predator. The sound of a car engine is very similar to the growling of a dangerous beast of prey.
In short the cities are surroundings full of signals all expressing danger. While nature is, compared to the city, a oasis of peace and quiet.
I do not intend to preach a sermon with this site. I merely like to show a few crossings where culture and nature crash in to each other or fluently merge with each other. The whole of my works are best known as a cabinet of curiosities, wherein mythology, evolution biology and fantasy are mixed through each other.