Being different has benefits. Under cold wet skies, the wizened bark of almond trees stirs with new life before all the other trees. The fuzzy grey buds split and fragile white blossoms brave the freezing winds. Almond nectar is sparse but the first available. The delicate blossoms are a small investment to achieve pollination before richer neighbors brave the cold.
Competition favors diversity. The earliest, the richest, the latest all have advantages. Eucalypts have pale open flowers to attract moths which fly at night to avoid the heat of the day. Every niche in time or space is an opportunity to avoid the general crush. Flowering plants rely on the external pollination to increase the diversity for new generations. It seems a gentle war, but the fight for resources is relentless and diversity is one important weapon.
Heather Webster, writer, Langhorne Creek grape grower, community advocate, red wine lover and commentator on things that matter in life.