It’s Earth Day 2015. To celebrate, I am writing this post from a small deck Peggy and I had built on the upper portion of our property. I took the photo of white oaks from where I am sitting.
An Acorn Woodpecker is hammering away at a dead pine. He just stopped to issue a staccato comment on the day, a Woody Woodpecker laugh. I can also hear a Robin’s distinctive chirp— they are migrating through, scratching around for juicy bugs. Flickers and Stellar Jays join the chorus. The jays are discussing the fact I haven’t put out their morning helping of sunflower seeds. They are loud and raucous, hoping I will hear them. How could I not? I was soundly scolded on my walk up here.
As for the Flicker, he has gone to pounding on our roof vents several times a day. Who knows why, but it sounds like a jack hammer. It gets Peggy quite excitable and she charges around whacking our ceiling to scare him away. I’ve checked the roof, so far no damage. I am not so sure about the ceiling.
One very pregnant and obviously uncomfortable Black Tail doe walked by a few minutes ago. She’s restless. I watched her yesterday as she disappeared behind our pump house for a few minutes (it’s cool and shady), came out, munched on some grass, walked to our house, and plopped down against the side. She will be having her fawn soon, probably down in our blackberry filled canyon. We won’t see the baby for a week or two since does carefully hide their babies and insist that they remain hidden for several days.
A cool, fresh breeze is blowing. Puffy clouds float by. The wind is welcome; it’s been hazy for the past few days. The weather people tell us that the haze is caused by smoke blowing in from Siberia. Apparently fires that Siberian farmers were using to clear their fields escaped. Our earth, this seemingly huge planet, is a small place after all. We are all neighbors. If people choose to pollute the air, discharge waste into water, cut down forests, and litter the landscape with the leftovers of modern civilization, it impacts all of us. We all suffer.
But enough doom and gloom—today is a day to celebrate the natural beauty of our earth. Let’s go for a walk. We will start at the Applegate River at the bottom of our property and move up the hill to the National Forest boundary marker. I’ve built signed trails throughout our property and named them after our grandkids (all boys). Ethan’s Hidden Springs Trail and Connor’s Jungle Trail are examples. The first thing the kids do when they arrive is run off to explore their trails. It is Peggy and my hope that we can instill in our grandchildren the same love of the natural world and desire to protect it that we have.
A Note: I wrote this piece and did our walk yesterday so this post could go up today.