Saturday, August 11, 2007

Relocating the Wildlife

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If you’ve been with me for several months, you'll know that I’m a hawk chaser. This photo was taken in February during one of my stop-quick-and-exit-car maneuvers. In the middle of this open field I’ve seen Loggerhead Shrikes from a distance and hawks perch on this dead tree often, mainly during winter months. I pass it on my way to and from work every day and examine it with camera ready.

Last weekend I was on vacation. Husband was in Myrtle Beach at a golf outing - business-related. Oh, don’t make me laugh! He enjoyed himself and that’s good but I had a little pleasure seeing his sunburned self come through the door on Sunday. With DH away, there were no deadlines or schedules to keep for three wonderful days. Yes, I was on vacation.

On the way to the grocery store on one of those days, I gasped and whined loudly in the car. This is what happened to my favorite hawk observatory (pictured above):



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My town, Huntersville, ranks 46th in the nation for growth as stated in a recent national study and I can’t drive a quarter of a mile without seeing new construction in progress. Known to be a sleepy, bedroom town in a county called Mecklenburg that circles the growing city of Charlotte, changes are taking place here very quickly. We didn’t expect this rapid growth when we made this town our home two years ago but it's not surprising. We also have seen this happen to us many times in the past - particularly in a once sleepy town in Maryland called Bel Air. Here in Huntersville, roads and schools are a major concern, of course, but I’m also concerned about the wildlife. We’re seventeen miles from uptown but not far enough away to avoid city planning.


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Why does anyone need a home this large? The earlier decades of reproducing seven to fourteen children are gone! This new development is the reason for the hawks’ eye view knock-down.



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I swerved across the road and parked on my man-made shoulder to see some lovely miniature horses. Let this ranch stay, please? Both children and adults visit for a lot of awwww-ing.



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Softer than a baby’s behind.



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These miniatures have good care and they’re for sale! I'd love to have room for one or twenty.




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I pray to keep this view on my way... A few months ago, I saw the large horses gallop across the road in front of me. It was a wonderful sight.



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On the way home from the grocery store I stopped at one of our community ponds. It’s the one where I released two of my large goldfish and I wonder if they are still alive during the obnoxious heat we're having. The Canadian Geese will be protected here and any other residents that might relocate.



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It’s alive with dragonflies and birds.



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Where will they go? What will happen to these birds who are watching the construction and the death of their trees and foliage they have nested in? And what about all of the other living creatures who have skirted death and moved on?

My heart was so heavy. I went home with some good thoughts in my sunburned, hot head: Let them reside with me and share my Zen! I have so much to offer on my teeny-tiny ranch-eden-oasis.

My home…come on over to my house.



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$11.99. Trimmed to smithereens in one night.

Bad, bad, bunnies!

28 comments:

Liza Lee Miller said...

Darn those bunnies. I'm so sorry about the loss of your hawk-tree and the habitat around it. Our country is a strange -- and yet still wonderful -- place. I don't get it much of it the time.

Thank you for creating your little oasis and catering to nature in your way! You rock.

Lynne said...

It seems often that the bits and corners of wild, untouched land around my house fall to development. It always saddens me. I'm gald too that you so willingly provide an oasis for wildlife in your yard. St. Francis is smiling at you!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Oh I so understand. Everytime I hear the bulldozer I weep. All of the birds and bugs would love your happy oasis! You care for them so willingly.
Your photos are always a delight.
Dragonfly is a print and frame.
I love miniature hores!!
How adorable.
If a developer wants the property I bet the horses will be relocated.... Property taxes seem to go up and up until a person has to sell.
I agree how many beds can two people sleep in? Big houses are not my style. I would rather have the habitat for the birds and the bugs!
Mother Nature loves you!
Somehow we have to get the message out. People have to stop developing and leave room for the birds.
Sherry

Mary C said...

Beautiful photos, Mary. Glad you had a few days to yourself. My DH was also gone (backpacking trip w/old work buddies), but surprised us by coming home last night instead of Sunday. Anyway, I was horrified to see that second photo; but realistically it is no surprise - is it? Your third photo of the house being built made me think of how bad it is here in the Bay Area - people have built McMansions (that's what we call 'em) on postage stamp lots and have NO yard - absolutely no space for even a small garden. How sad. At least these people have some land around them. Let's hope the owners/builders plant some trees when it is completely built.

Wow! Bunnies are as destructive as squirrels - but in a slightly different way.

Mary said...

Hi All,

I just came home after being away for a few hours and re-read this post to find 8 (eight) errors in it...grammatical and a few unfinished sentences! OMG. Must be the heat. Need to slow down :o) Just saw more bulldozers cutting down a few acres of trees... It never ends.

mon@rch said...

I two am very sorry to hear about your tree! don't see housing going up that fast around here but we are still seeing it! Love all the photos!

NatureWoman said...

Argh Mary, the same thing is happening here in my once small bedroom community. I've heard it is the fastest growing town in the state. Everywhere I go trees are being knocked down for those huge houses. Okay, rhetorical question. Why do two asses need a house with three or four car garages? Oh, and then all of these same people never stay home in those big beautiful homes, they're always out and about at every function in the area.
I love soft horse lips.
And I love your backyard oasis!

Annie in Austin said...

When we bought our previous Austin house there was a large wild area a couple of blocks away... by the time we left 5 years later it had been cleared and 200 enormous houses were fitted in. The wildlife was mostly deer, and they relocated to our neighborhood where they were pretty to look at - hell to live with.

I'm sorry you're having the same kind of thing, Mary.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Susie said...

Glad you had a mini vacation. Your photos are wonderful as always. We see a lot of the "mini mansions" esp up in the Napa Valley. (not so much here in town.)
:)

Carol said...

Bunnies are bad? Sweet little Peter Cottontail, bad? Maybe it was chipmunks that got into your petunais?

Susan Gets Native said...

It's discouraging. But keep on keeping on, Mary. What you do in your yard MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

No_Clue said...

I feel your pain! Our community here doesn't seem to understand that some of us need green space to function ~ not to mention for the wildlife to live on! Case in point ~ the town I live in (and hope to move from rather soon) recently drained a marshy area to build a strip mall, but area residents are so angry the newly built space is at least 60% empty! Several years ago they also clear cut trees including one that had a bald eagle's nest in it. Ohhhhhh, I could go on for hours about this...Thanks for letting me vent!

LostRoses said...

Mary, you just keep on providing your own little Eden, you're doing a good job! Oh, that dragonfly, just lovely. And oh, that bad bunny.

kate said...

It's hard to see beautiful wild places plowed under for development, but it seems to be the story everywhere. I loved the pictures of the birds on the wires and the hummingbirds attacking the feeder.

I've never had to contend with bunnies ... that's a lot of damage for an overnight foray.

Jayne said...

Rural is fast becoming a thing of the past in so many places. Hate you lost your hawk tree.

Love your photos of your oasis in your own yard Mary. It's so beautiful and peaceful. No wonder the bunnies love it! Bad bunnies...

Sandy said...

Mary, I agree with you, the same is happening here, and we are far out of the city. We have been wondering about the monster houses here, too. I don't know about anywhere else, but we are seeing lots of the newer, larger houses with for sale signs.
It will be interesting to see how this credit problems gets solved.

Love those ponies and dragonflies!

Janeyms said...

Our community is like Bel Air once was, but being a bedroom community of Baltimore and York, Pa we are fast growing also with McMansions littering the country side. When I first relocated here back in 1971 I could ride my horse for hours over tractor paths and dirt roads, now you can ride all day on macadum and never see a dirt road or tractor path. Fortunately we are surrounded by a three generation family farm that will never be developed as the youngest generation are also farm oriented. Thank goodness not everyone wants a McMansion with no yard.....for another generation we will have hawks, red foxes and deer strolling through the gardens and woodlots. Mary you have shared your home with many as well as shared their pictures with us. You do good work!

Alyssa said...

Hi Mary - There some things we can do to curb this rampant building (and destroying) and keep wild areas for our beloved wildlife. First get involved in local government and vote for the person most environmentally friendly. There are meetings for the public when large development is being proposed. Go to those meetings. Protest and speak your mind. Also get together with neighbors, make and sign petitions and submit them to the planning committee. Write letters to local and nearby newspapers. Keeping informed and voicing your opinion is very important. Lastly, there are organizations that are trying and succeeding in protecting what is left of our wildplaces: The Nature Conservancy (my favorite), Sierra Club, and The Wilderness Society (also a favorite) are some of the bigger, well known orgs, but if you check on the internet I'm sure you'll find some within your state.

Most important is to vote in an administration that is environmentally conscious and doesn't feel that care for our environment is a "luxury". (I think Cheny or Bush said that!)

And no, No One needs a silly MacMansion like you pictured. I see those all the time around here and always think of the waste. It is actually a sad comment on how materialistic and out-of-touch our society has become.

thailandchani said...

Those big houses.. yeah.. I don't get that either. :)


Peace,

~Chani

Chris said...

Oh Mary I am sorry about your hawks' rest tree. It's now more important than ever that you carry on your brilliant work and love of wildlife in your garden. Your pond looks fantastic and so healthy and the dragonfly is amazing.

Larry said...

you hit a sore spot with me when it comes to developement-Connecticut has actually decreased in population but they keep on making housing developements for what appears to be a race of giant human beings.-Field after field on my way to work is being ripped up.-I counted six seperate farm fields in the last two years on one street that was built upon.-Animals and birds are wandering around aimlessly in that area--Other than that-Nice post.

cat59 said...

Hi Mary,

How sad to see the hawks' tree destroyed! Your oasis at home is wonderful. Love your pics of dragonflies. We have those plants in our pond that have tall stems and purple flowers. Do you know what they're called? I saw a hummingbird on one of them this weekend. I think we should get a hummingbird feeder and see how many are around. Hope you have a good week.

RuthieJ said...

Oh Mary, an audible gasp came from my mouth when I got down to your second picture! I have gone through the same thing just outside my back yard. It's all about the dollars and cents. The commercial development by me had already taken out all the 100+ year old oaks, leveled all the land, and poured footings for their building before our township board held a public information meeting about a "proposed" commercial property. How does a person protest a "done deal?" I went to the meeting but all of our objections were just a waste of breath.
Thank goodness for you and the other dear bloggers who have "seen the light" and are doing everything possible to maintain their own habitats for the wild things.
P.S. I love miniature horses too.

terra incognita said...

What a shame about the tree, and that the developments are taking more and more wildlife habitat and beautiful land! I live in the woods near a national park and vacation area, and always cringe when I see yet another huge house going up on the side of a mountain... and these gigantic houses are usually just used as summer homes. Anyway, it's really a shame about the loss of the hawk tree, and all the other habitat the developers are taking.

Sorry about the petunias...bad bunnies for sure!

Thanks for sharing your great photos, it's always a pleasure to view them.

Naturegirl said...

Now now Mary with all that urban renewal going on the predators that would eat up the bunnies yes I said that me naturegirl..as I was saying the animals hunt and preserve the balance but when those darn machines take away their natural habit the small ones mutiple and come into our gardens to feed.They were having their salad serving!

This post is something I have wanted to do for some time as I am your kindred spirit because seeing the woodlands destroyed to put up more subdivisions upsets me as it does you! I shake my head in disgust for what these beautiful acres of peaceful woodlands are destroyed for...malls houses baren without any trees and extremely heartbreaking to watch!!

I live near a conservation area and if for some reason our local politicians decide to allow digging there I am most certainly OUT OF HERE!! I cannot bear the thought or watch it!Natureboy assures me it won't happen but if it does...
Oh I get so worked up when I see
woodlands destroyed!!!
Good post even if it did get me upset!!

So nice to get back into our bit of serenity and bliss and how about those Canadian geese in a protected pond!!I've calmed down sigh hugs NG

Mary said...

Hi No-Clue, thanks for visiting! You can vent here anytime.

David in Greensboro NC said...

Why do people need monstrosities of houses? I think spiritual emptiness has a lot to do with it. People are so cut off from what is real, that their only recourse is to buy, buy, buy and surround themselves with luxury. Nature,a place to restore the soul, gets buried under subdivisions named after what got bulldozed.

red tin heart said...

Mary you photos are so pretty i wanted to cry. I am sorry if that sounds silly. But there are so beautiful. And I love it that you are a hawk chaser. xoxo Nita