Buckthorn berries have been called an invasive, but who really knows what invasive means these days? That language suggests objects and beings that belong and those that don’t along a lineage of ownership, shared identity, and centrality. The issues with this kind of thinking run through so much these days, but in this case, what can they possibly mean? Our climate is changing, so our backyards are changing. What is there now may not be there in 20 or 50 years. More so, what is there now most likely wasnt’ all there 50 years ago. This Concordia landscape was more at a low of around 25% forest in Thoreau’s time, and now is more than 80%. Trees and species that comprise and love the open fields, farmlands, and shrubs have little hope of finding a home now. Species that find solace in forest trees, urban edgelands all are plentiful. So, how can we define and name what is native or nonnative, invasive or noninvasive? Can we just observe, record, and engage what is simply there?
I’m making ink from Buckthorn berries this week and have discovered backwards that this is the berry that has always been used to make Sap Green, a common paint color.