For the Love of the Land

Sometimes things don’t go as they should. Even when you prep and plan and set up meetings and have conversations. I have learned a little bit about myself this past week when things didn’t go as expected or as planned with some of our land.

Late wintertime we received a certified letter from the power company and their forester stating that maintenance work was to be done under the power lines. I called the company, discussed our requests and even met with a forester to confirm. This was months ago when the weather was still cold.

This past Friday I received some shocking photos from The Bubbas of our land and what they had done to it. I was mortified. I was shocked. More than anything I was heartbroken. Look at what they did …

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My heart ached for all of the little souls that were using the five foot tall brush for cover and nesting sites. They had no chance of getting out alive. I spent over an hour on the phone, my frustrations certainly showing and getting the better of me. Tears were shed. Everything that I asked, requested and prepped for was not done. We discussed that I completely understand that they have a job to do but we do need to compromise a bit. They own the right of way, they do not own what lives and grows on it.

img_20160604_133333600.jpgFirst and foremost we need to know when you will be here. No notice. Next and most importantly you will not clear-cut in the middle of baby wildlife season. During our meeting in my driveway that cold early spring day you looked me in the eye and said you wouldn’t. You said you would trim the larger saplings and start a wildlife fence along the edge of our trees. You said you wouldn’t clear cut … and yet you did. I felt blindsided and helpless. I teach about nature, I claim I am an advocate of this land, most importantly I promised her I would take care of this property. I made a lot of promises to her – that I would always be her friend, that I would love her son and that I would protect what she worked so hard for. It has never been a second thought to me that she knowingly did things before she left this world so that we would be able to live here. It is my job (and honor) to protect it.

I spent a good part of Saturday surveying the damage. I walked the path twice. I found their tractor. I also found some yellow lilies and some blooming blue-eyed grass. Most importantly I found dragonflies. Ever since she left us I have been fascinated and in awe of the amount of dragonflies we have on the property. The first year I cleared out the rock garden there must have been a hundred that I disturbed. It was an amazing sight. Ever since then when I see them on our property they remind me of her. The dragonflies followed me up and back the cleared path and landed just briefly enough for me to snap a picture or two. I apologized to her.

The weekend passed and because it takes 2 business days for the complaint to be processed I have had the opportunity to calm down drastically. I have changed my stance to that of rage and disgust with tears to confident and assertive and friendly enough that you want to listen and acknowledge my concerns. I have talked to about 5 different people who were a part of this mess and they all had no idea of the previous conversations and claimed to be sorry for the miscommunication. They are looking into how that could have happened and I am awaiting that phone call. They have agreed to clean up their mess where they let things lay (including the helicopter mess from last fall). Tree work is scheduled and we are to be notified 24 hours prior. I tend to always see the good in people so lets hope that happens.

I can’t change what happened but I can learn more about the process and talk to numerous people who can at some point help and honor our requests. I feel like this has allowed me to still be angry but in more of a controlled environment. I am hoping that I have come across as an educated woman and as an educator.

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3 thoughts on “For the Love of the Land

  1. I watched this kind of cutting in process around Moraine State Park a few years ago, while teaching classes of 6th grade kids. It is unbelievable to watch a helicopter with a huge saw hanging/swinging under it, cutting wide swaths of trees! I wondered if there ever were any unsuspecting humans caught in the line of fire. As you say, there must be many critters! I cannot see how they can in any way, control that saw while in operation. This week the power company is marching down my road clearing the trees and branches near the road. Monday they will pass my home. Last time they did this they made a mess of things. They also butchered to beautiful line of hemlocks of my next door neighbor, There was NO reason to do this! The light branches of the tallest reaches of these trees would not hold enough snow to bring down power lines. Just as these trees are regaining almost their beauty, here they come again. I cheer you on in your efforts to make a difference! ! !

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  2. Oh, I am so sorry for what they did. But like you said… More understanding and educating yourself perhaps will halt more of this sadness next time. Hugs! …but more importantly… Hugs to the creatures and the environment.

    Liked by 1 person

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