Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Love Trees, Woods, and the Critters that Live There

My neighborhood looks like the victim of a tornado. Two of my neighbors seem to have gone crazy and are cutting all the wonderful big old maples and oaks on their properties. It started when a developer who owns the lots around my house, cleared out the undergrowth plus a few big trees. Now the houses above me look right down on my house and into my bedroom window unless I keep my blinds closed at all times. I hate the loss of privacy.
One of the reasons we liked our house was the woods on three sides of us. We loved the wild turkeys that lived here and the deer that came down the mountain to water in the lake. Without any place to hide, the wildlife is not likely to stay.
Also, I am concerned because the underbrush holds the earth together and keeps erosion in check. Mudslides are disasters in the mountains. The ones who build on top of the mountains don’t worry about those who live below them. Sometimes I wonder if people even think about the consequences of their actions on others.

Secluded in the woods, existing in and with nature, I am surrounded by dogwoods in the spring.And, sadly, when the mud from above washes down on my yard, I have no recourse to claim damages. This happened to us a few years ago. I had hoped our county would pass a law to prevent building above a certain point and would implement conservation laws to prevent mudslides and erosion, especially those that could damage property of others.
However, I think the building industry has been so badly hurt by the recession that developers are going to be given free reign to do whatever if they will just hire people and get back to work.

I wish for the woods to flourish this spring and the green bushes and little trees to grow strong and soon fill the yawning emptiness between ground and treetops. I hope the turkeys and other small animals and birds that need cover will come back and make their homes here once again.

Where Will They Go?
Behind my house the dried leaves
line the floor of woods in winter’s dress,
bare gray tree trunks frozen in the cold.

Near the ridge line I see
a clump of brown take motion, one
and then another, and another.

I try to count but quickly
the lumps vanish, disappear
like spirit smoke
in the silence of the wood.

The low drone of dozers,
chainsaw screams, muffled by
the mountain still intact,
forewarn of approaching moving day.

Wild turkeys still claim these woods
though roads are coming, houses will rise up
where ancient oaks and maples, bear and deer
have always ruled;

houses built by urban dwellers,
city people, oblivious to the violation,
the destruction of all they
claim to love.
----- Glenda C. Beall


Joan Ellen Gage said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your privacy, and for the critters loss as well. It is a pity that people do not realize what they are removing when they develop land.

I hope the space fills in well. Perhaps some wild flowers would help?

Glenda Beall said...

I'd love to have wild flowers there, but I can't do the work of planting and watering them. The land is rough and steep.

But I'm sure the little bushes will come back in time, and small trees will sprout up and green the brown hill.
I love your new website design, Joan. So, so pretty. I also listened to your reading your poem online. You go, Girl!