Is it better to go with the flow or let the flow go?
~ Aidan Chambers, Postcards from No Man’s Land
I am feeling a little melancholy today. My mood doesn’t match the weather at all. The day is bright and beautiful and blessedly cool. The heat and humidity from a few days ago have traveled out to sea. It is the kind of day I should be spending outdoors.
There are several things at play when it comes to my mood du jour. I have a touch of the post-vacation blues combined with being walloped with the flu. Yes, I am sick again. Ugh, right? This has not been a banner year for me so far when it comes to health and well-being. Let’s not dwell on that, though. There are other things to chat about. One of these days I’ll figure out what my body is trying to tell me, and good health will be with me once again.
While I tell you about the other things, I will show you the second spring I was fortunate enough to experience during our recent trip to Ohio. I know some of you have been missing the pond and Breezy Acres almost as much as I have, and for those of you who are new to my blog, this will give you a chance to see some of the Bogs (what I named northeast Ohio while we were living there).
The other thing causing some of this sadness has to do with the meadows here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. A few weeks ago I mentioned that as part of our land conservation agreement, we are required to mow the meadows every three years. Rather than cut everything down at once, and displace a lot of critters who live in the meadows, I came up with the brilliant idea of mowing one third every year which would technically keep us in compliance with the agreement.
The previous owners of the house and property, Mr. and Mrs. B., did not keep up with the mowing, and when we bought the place the meadows were slowly transitioning to woods with the growth of myrtles (sea and wax) and trees (mostly pine and sweet gum). Simple mowing was no longer an option. It was going to require a chain saw and a big mower of some kind to restore the meadows to a compliant (with the agreement) state of being. Since we don’t have a big enough mower for the job we hired a man to do the work, and today he has been out there clearing one-third of the meadows.
The man we hired has a machine that essentially grinds everything down to dust. They use them when they clear cut forests. It’s pretty amazing, and pretty scary too. Amazing because of how fast it grinds everything down. Scary because of how fast it reduces the natural world to dust.
I have been out a few times to watch, and I didn’t realize when the man started just how much land we were talking about when we asked him to do one-third of the meadows. Oh, we had it marked with ribbons tied on trees, but when you see the land bared, it suddenly looks so much bigger.
This is the time of year when all the critters are nesting and breeding, and it saddens me more than a little to see so much of their habitat destroyed. And so quickly, too. I know it has to be done, and I know that the point of doing it is to reestablish grassland habitats precisely so a lot of the critters who rely on such environments will have a place to live. Even so, I can’t help but wonder how many animals have been displaced today by this action.
M and I chatted about it this morning, and think we’ll go ahead and have the next third of it done in the fall or early winter. It has to be done while the ground is relatively dry (which is why we didn’t do it earlier this year) so that should be a good time for it. Maybe it will be less disruptive at that time, too, since a lot of the birds who nest out there will have migrated for the season. The deer and turkeys hide in the marshes anyhow, and the rabbits have other options, too.
I’ve been out taking pictures during the course of the project and want to wait until it’s finished to show you the images. Maybe during this weekend’s coffee chat.
I reckon that’s it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch for today. Thank you for visiting, and for traveling back to Ohio with me for a brief look back. I have more photos from the trip I hope to show you soon.
As for sunset, the black flies are so bad that I think I’ll watch from the porch today. They won’t be able to get us there since it is screened in. We won’t see as much because there are some big trees blocking the view, but we’ll at least be able to see some of the colors in the sky. Sunset is at 8:05 PM. Join me if you like.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂