We had ourselves some tree-trimming here at the apartments. Call me crazy but when someone warns me that ‘the trimming might be substantial’ (because I’ve been labeled by my community as a ‘Duck-Lover’ and ‘One Of Those’ I was on the early inform list along with a few others) I had a picture in my mind of some larger limbs being removed and possibly having a few peek-a-boo holes in the forest. I wasn’t, however, expecting a massive, clear cut policy of deforestation of the first thirty feet of what is essentially my back yard. Now, I could go on and on about this but I’m not going to (maybe a little) because rather than harp about this one thing (who wants to read about complaints, right?) I would like to make a larger point.
Sometimes doing the right thing is inconvenient. At times it requires thoughtfulness and more time to produce the same results as a speedy careless venture. It can more costly to do a project responsibly.
Let’s use ‘tree trimming’ as an example. There are ways to clear an area of dry brush or dead limbs without resorting to the scorched earth policy.
My sister and I built a farmhouse several years back and we wanted trees close to the house, which made life uncomfortable for the construction crew in that they had to ‘be careful’ when putting in the foundation, bringing in supplies, moving big equipment about and almost all other facets of the project. Our demands were not very popular because there were already dozens of trees on the property and they could not fathom why we found it necessary to preserve ALL the trees. It took more of crews time and more of our time, but in the end we did have trees right outside our windows (and our home was cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter if one needed to see a more fiscal reason) because of it. But more importantly, it was the responsible thing to do for the earth and the wildlife that lived on those ten acres.
In another phase of construction, we had Wood Phoebe nesting in the rafters in the basement (that is considered very good luck by the way) and it was time to put the basement windows in so the dry wall could be done. We became even more unpopular when we told the project manager there could be no windows in until the babies were fledged and out of the nest, otherwise the babies would starve when mom could not get back inside. Apparently this was going to upset the entire time table of the construction crew, dry wall would have to be rescheduled, and all manner of bad things would happen down the road because of this bird and - well, you get the point. Long story short, Wood Phoebe babies fledged, windows went in and no catastrophes ensued.
Let’s return to the tree trimming project at the apartments. Would it really have been so devastating to walk through and carefully consider which trees ‘had’ to go and which ones could remain,? Doesn’t Mother Earth deserve some thoughtfulness on our part as we use the gifts she gladly gives us?
Many times it is completely inconvenient to do the right thing. Even the little things can be a pain. Carrying around a plastic water bottle until a recycling bin can be found, using natural weed deterrent rather than a chemical spray that kills with quicker results.
We all like instant gratification but sometimes the inconvenience of doing the right thing is exactly what living on Mother Earth requires.
Mama Mallard’s eggs hatched on June 19th. I went by in the morning to say ‘hi mama’ on my way to the lake and she was just sitting there as usual - fluffed, still – just waiting under the Peony. But by afternoon she had dropped her wings down over the nest and if one was patient, the little babies would make an uncertain appearance. Tiny fluff-balls with wonder in their eyes, looking at the big world from under mama’s skirt.
I apologize for the video which is sideways (pilot error) but the babies are on right side of the picture, they are only a few hours old. This morning, Thursday, she had taken them away under the cover of a very early sunrise. I kind of miss our morning talks, her and I.
I could write a whole blog on this little family but really – what could I possibly add to such a beautiful moment?
Hope you enjoy the video.