The last straw

aliska12000(Z5)July 5, 2010

tiffy, if you see this, can you email me and tell me which province you are in, nothing more? I don't want to live close to you but Nova Scotia appeals to me and is a little nicer climate in parts of it. Or I might go to Wisconsin where the birch trees are or New Hampshire.

I want to change my whole life. Everything I worked for the last 4 or more years is trashed - see link. I'm letting a few people down because I don't have the energy to package it up for trades or giveaways in light of all the other things I have to deal with.

There's a lot more to it, serious family issues that have torn me apart, my wealthier sister and brother-in-law, and my adult children, my son especially about my share of farm property I own that skyrocketed to over $1 mil. I hate the one place and don't want it or the hassles that go with it, thought I was destined to have the other one but there is a settlement valuation issue due to the difference in assessment between the two. Once I dreamed of making either or both of them beautiful with flowers trees and shrubs, but can't do it by myself for sure.

I found out we've been growing GM crops, wasn't happy about it, but was ok with it for awhile. Now I'm not, and it's hugely complicated, but growing the conventional way is risky now due to the power of agri-business and their battery of lawyers who will sue you if your conventional crops get contaminated with the GM stuff from the pollen. A farmer in western Canada had to pay a $400,000 settlement on his soybeans because they accused him of using their seed which is patented. They trespass onto your property, steal samples, and if they find the gene in any of it or even volunteers, well some people in the US have almost lost their farms over it, have to settle for whatever they say.

I've been researching it; evidently there are pros and cons, but the bottom line is I don't want to eat the stuff and it doesn't even say on the label if it has GM ingredients. The most important thing is that we do not know the environmental or unintended consequences long-term or what it does to our bodies, more the young ones are an issue as I'm old so it doesn't matter so much if I eat it.

I think that's part of the reason we've lost our honeybees and endangered the Monarch butterflies and probably a whole lot else. But it's a little more complex than that, save it for another time.

Losing my beautiful tree was the last straw. This place will never be the same without it, and planting a new one since I didn't want to pay an extra $1000 to grind the stump, I will never see it get big enough to be as nice as that one was. I kept it going as long as I could, but a huge limb came down. Now my whole backyard looks like a war zone, and it wiped out most of my winter sowing. What's left, the labels on most of it are all mixed up. That tree was always such a comfort to me except a few times big limbs came down. Seems like until this latest, they always fell in such a way that little damage was done.

Oh, ha ha. My Ultima Morpho pansies mostly germinated but they all look like johnny jump ups. No blue in them at all, lavender and yellow. Those are blooming in their containers, and my Cherry Brandy rudbeckia in a jug is about ready to bloom. I saved seeds from the one, and none of the three came back this spring.

And to add insult to injury, I got 3 black and blue salvia plants from Burpee. They are very healthy, still in their pots and blooming. But they aren't blue either. They're purple.

So all that is why I haven't been around here lately.

Just because I'm up to my eyeballs with my own problems doesn't mean that I haven't paid close attention to the disaster in the gulf, have huge empathy for the people, wildlife, and prayers are about all I can offer.

Here is a link that might be useful: My tree, arborist said it was over 100 years old

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When the old Austrian Pine on my mother's property became too dangerous to keep it had to come down. Representatives from the power company, the water company, the village mayor, the village crew, the fire department and its EMTs were all on site the day it was removed. They were all there in case something went horribly wrong. The tree was one of the oldest and largest in the village, it was ancient and tall, and creaking and cracking and had reached the span of its life. It was expensive to remove but we are grateful that the arborists were skilled and no one or no property were imperilled by the removal.

In every aspect of life there is change--everything goes forwards; maybe perhaps not in the direction you planned, but nothing stops still. The sun sets but it also rises the next day. We walk, or crawl, we breathe or we gasp and we do all of that until there is no breath or beating heart or life left in our bodies.

I don't know if you need a hug or a kick in your butt, maybe a good amount of both. But honestly, you're alive and you have the physical abilities to think and to type, you seem to afford the means to express yourself electronically. You're complaining about the family, the crop, the pansies and an old tree. And how much is your farm share worth?!?!?!?!

But Poor you. Poor you. Aliska, I'm not without sympathy but I see little purpose in self-pity. Most people who fall flat on their face get up and dust themselves off and go forwards in dignity. Go to sleep tonight and get up tomorrow and finish your trade commitments because you have an obligation to those traders. Then sow some more seeds; it sounds like you have a new amount of sunny beds and borders to plan.

Family problems stink, health problems stink too, life stinks. Welcome to the club. Use your physical and mental capacities to find a LCSW to help guide you through these times. Get up and go forwards or stay flat on your face, your choice, but one will be more productive than the other.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 12:30AM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

We had to remove two large sycamores - each over 100 feet tall. They were too close to the house and one leaned over the living room. We figured that any tree that had a good chance of killing us in it's lifetime just had to got - even if they were spectacular.

Here's one of them a few months after they were taken down (after tons and tons of clean up). The other one was just as big. The larger trunk sections were about 4 ft in diameter.

We had the biggest clean-up ever. We had the tree guy section the stumps, but we did all of the branch clean up ourselves and it felt endless. Fortunately we finally found a needy family in the neighborhood who were happy to haul away the trunk sections for firewood. The little 6 year old kid from the family rode his bike by and asked what we were going to do with the wood - he went home a family hero (to both of our families) when he told them that a winter of free firewood was their's for the taking.

Losing that tree gave me my garden. Here's what it looked like as I was starting the garden. For sense of scale, compare the size of they sycamore stump to the stacks of tires.

I don't have a current overhead shot, but just picture that filled in a lush with the sorts of flowers you can see in one of my photo posts.

The stumps are still there. We had the cutter cut them high, and now have wires running between them and it's a great gourd arbor.

As much as you miss your tree, you'll never miss the possibility of having it crash through the roof of your house. This could actually be a great thing for your garden, and your stump could end up fitting in nicely too.

I know you feel awful now. Even though we knew our trees put our whole family at risk it was still shocking to seed the trees bleed and get sectioned. And clean-up was no less than totally awful too. But my new garden loves the sunshine and when wicked winds come through I remember the sound of the cut tree sections hitting the ground and am relieved they aren't there to crash through the roof and injure or kill us.

Maybe while you are mourning the loss of your beautiful tree you should make a nice relaxing cup of tea and look at the yard with fresh eyes - and make sure that your ultimate garden isn't right there already just waiting for you to help it grow in the new found sunlight.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 7:59AM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

I don't know if you are just philosophically opposed to genetically engineered crops or buying all of the crap you read on the internet trying to scare people (nor do I want to open the debate about whether genetic engineering is good or bad in and of it self). But I do want to set a couple of lies you stated straight, so you at least are listing actual facts instead of furthering myths.

I was part of the scientific team that did the research to check if the pollen of Bt corn (genetically engineered corn) was harming monarch butterflies. I am also providing support to the lead USDA team on Colony Collapse Disorder of honey bees. So I look at actual objective, uunbiased research and results, not third hand or more media and special interest reports.

1) Only the pollen of one variety of Bt corn had any significant impact on monarch butterfly catapillars at all. That variety was never more than 3 percent of all Bt corn planted. That variety was withdrawn from the market immediately after our results were peer reviewed.

2) Corn only sheds pollen 10-14 days a year. That time of pollen shed rarely if ever overlaps the time that monarchs are migrating through the same area. It requires both toxicity AND exposure to create a problem, so even the insignificant toxicity of other Bt corn does not have the chance to create much in the way of damage. A scientist at the Smithsonian once said, more monarch butterflies are killed by car windshields every summer than by BT corn.

3) Genetically engineered crops have nothing to do the disappearance of honey bees, if for no other reason than the fact that corn, cotton, and rice, the major genetically engineered crops, are all wind- not insect-pollenated.

4) Scientific literature about honey bees has reported similar syndromes to Colony Collapse Disorder about every forty years going back to about the 1880s. So outbreaks from the 1960s, the 1920s and the 1880s all predate any genetic engineering.

5) And by the way, neither cell phones (despite the stupid study in India just reported (I have a list two pages long of the flaws in that study which looked at all of two hives)), nor crops circles, jet contrails, or aliens have anything to do with disappearing honey bees. There are a number of pathogens that have come to North America in the last two years that are probably involved.

By the way since honey bees are inasive foreign insects to North America, are you in favor of wiping tham out?

I'd be happy to provide scientiifc references for the research for anything I've mentioned above.

I sympathize with you if your life is in chaos right now. I've felt the driving desire to run away and live on a tropical island somewhere, anywhere else. But don't add the burden of something you need not make a big deal out of. Focus on taking tiny steps where you can, where you have any control and tell everyone else, you'll discuss their issue next week.

I'll close with a paraphrase of a Chinese parable (and apologize for getting on my soapbox) but when the large tree died and a wise man was told it would take 100 years to grow another like it, he answered "Well then I'd better hurry and plant another one, shouldn't I."


    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:08AM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Yes, seed production is Mother Nature's way- the old die eventually and the young are born. It's the same with people. Nobody and no tree can live forever, but our offspring follow. Same with flowers- we nurture them and want them to stay but they, too, can be replaced.

Your major issue seems to be the most important one- family matters. You might just have to get yourself a good lawyer and see what can be done to settle the finances. Some family ties could be broken forever, but not every family member is really worth holding near and dear, unfortunately. You just have to decide. I'd probably risk breaking ties with a sibling rather than spend the rest of my life owning property that drove me nuts.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 11:45AM
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I should know better than to post anything when I'm so bone tired, confused and depressed.

All the points were valid, I deserved some of it, except the one about my lying. I would never intentionally lie about anything and should have left GM out of it because it's too confusing at this point and peripheral to the central issues. I've read discussion boards, watched youtube videos, know people have agendas. The best info I found on called Harvest of Fear. I felt it was pretty balanced. I need to do some more fact finding but can't process that much new information all at once.

Just let the rest of it go. I do fall into feeling sorry for myself and have been called on it before.

Like I said, I know better. Thanks to those of you who offered words of encouragement. The tree had become dangerous and a worry to me. In time, I may see it in a different light, if the time is granted to me.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 1:55PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

I'm not unsympathetic, aliska. I can understand and empathize. I had back luck and not the greatest results from wintersowing this year.

But after 4 very good years before that I can say there's always next year.

And I understand an emotional tie to a tree. On my son's 3rd birthday he helped my husband plant this then 6 foot maple

My son is grown up and gone, will soon be 30, and when the tree goes, I will be very sad. If I still live here, I'll replace it with one of the many hundreds of seedlings that volunteer each year.

It's your family issues that you need to rectify in some way suitable to you. Don't sweat the small stuff, go for the big enchalada. Get the family/property ownership matters resolved and start over elsewhere with a blank garden slate that you can live with.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 2:41PM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

I didn't say you were lying aliska. I said you were repeating lies. There are many points about GMOs open to debate. But the two you specifically cited killing Monarch butterflies and honey bees have been scientifically researched to a definitive answer. The data are not open to debate or philosphofical argument. Genetically engineered crops are not killing either monarch butterflies or honey bees.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 4:17PM
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Karen, you hit the nail on the head about family ties. Thank you for making me see it even though it's somewhat a shock because I've always felt protective toward my younger sister.

Like anything else, it's not all one side or the other. They just have a lot more going for them, valuable property or not.

I'm sorry about your winter sowing. One of mine looks like that photo you posted. Not all of mine is lost so I'll look at it that way, plus it gave me something fun to do during the bleak months.

That maple is so beautiful, a sugar maple, I think. How can you not get attached to something so beautiful and so much meaning and your son? The problem with maples is the wood is soft so the trees aren't as strong as hardwood trees. Years ago, my neighbor's, the whole tree blew over in a storm. She had a nice pair, later had the other one taken out. Yours is a little better protected close to the house like that.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 4:58PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

No big deal on the WSing, there's always next year. A I know that maple will bite the dust someday. But life on earth will still go on.

But we all have family issues, myself included. My Dad died when I was 16 and my life turned upside down, but I survived. I had doubts about my Mom ever getting over the loss, but eventually she did. I have a sibling who I have seen maybe 4 times in 30 years, never for more than a couple of hours. Life goes on. My son simply lives too far away for frequent visits. Even a weekly phone call becomes challenging due to time zone differences. Sad for me, but life still goes on. Life is always changing, relationships develop and some end, but life goes on.

Your life will go on too Aliska, for the better I hope. It might not be easy but when you settle your family issues you'll the that the smaller matters were smaller than they seemed at the time.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 5:27PM
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I bet each and every one of us has a story,Wayne just finished building his work shop, he named it his 'Man Cave',could not wait for it to be finished,he waited a long time to get something this nice, built by himself.
He was able to use it one month,last week, a huge tree fell on it,during the storm we had.Insurance will cover SOME of it,,but he has not worked in over a year.
In spite of every thing going on,you Must!!!!see the bright side to living,we are able to see ,hear,smell,laugh,and cry when needed,( my son just went back to Cal. this afternoon,my heart is broken),but I am so thankful he came home for a month.
I know your story is, YOUR, Story, and one can not compare one with the other,but if it helps to hear others,and how they deal with their problems, then,you should give all some thought.
I think we are close to the same age, if I remember right,
if it helps at all, remember,The sun and rain, shine and fall on all of us, the good and the bad.,it is up to you to find your happiness.
I hope all goes well for you,you inspire so many of us here, with your comments,and have offered helpful information as well.
You really are appreciated,more than you know.
( I agree with you about the Gm. crops.)Perhaps you can sell off your land?Nothing worse than trying to function with a noose around your neck,break free of someting that is making your life miserable.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 5:34PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

Sometimes, we have to step back and see what is really important. I made some changes three years ago in my location and my attitude. Mostly, I'm happier now than I was then. I have a few regrets, but that's life. When it comes to plants, there is always next year. Not every year can be a stellar year.

Get your personal life sorted out, and use gardening as a way to relive stress, not make more of it. That's my advice.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 5:34PM
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ontheteam(5a-6 (S.Eastern, MA))

Lots of wise words all ready given. I'll just add some encouragement to heed them and add a lil of my own.

When going thru hell.. do not stop to look at the scenery. Keep going.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:05PM
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kimka "I didn't say you were lying aliska. I said you were repeating lies" Huge difference with your clarification, didn't mean to ignore you. That could happen that I repeat lies; I'm a stickler for truth, try not to blindly repeat things, but sometimes it's so hard to know for sure if you haven't done all the homework. I have not on GM, just barely scratched the surface. Even then, sometimes you can't really know for sure. Heaven knows I've spent so much time fact checking other subjects (mass emails, news commentary boards, etc.) and have called several out (not here). You get to the point when it's best to avoid controversial subjects altogether, often end up in a dead end anyway. Now I just tend to ignore it and move on. I'm not talking WS forum.

Carol, I'll try to get an attitude adjustment going here, usually I manage to bounce back more quickly because I force myself to get going with something positive, but this one has been prolonged and will continue indefinitely . . . As to your husband, I'm so sorry he's been out of work. Sometimes something may seem like a small thing to others compared to "it could be worse thinking" but sometimes little things can mean a lot. I mean huge. I hope he can rebuild his dream even better than before. Probably all of us can relate to shattered dreams. Whatever his employment potential is or is not, I wish you both the best there. Thank you for your kind words. I so wish I had the energy to do more like some here do, but we have to learn to live with our limitations.

I also thought about possible alternative crops, but think it is best to stick with the experience of my betters. Books can be helpful, but you don't read a book and suddenly become an expert. I resurrected a couple books from the library by Louis Bromfield I read years ago, how he came back from Europe and reclaimed several old, worked out farms in Ohio where the soil had been depleted, how he gradually built it back up. That first book of his I read, "Pleasant Valley" always stuck with me. But those were written in the 40's, and things have changed a lot since then. I also read that one about Norman Borlaug and his work with wheat strains in Mexico, left a lasting impression on me. Those subjects have always fascinated me, but I'd rather work with flowers like Luther Burbank.

One other thing I need to think about more, using food crops for biofuels.

I may sell; I may not, one property lends itself to splitting easily into two sections, so there's another option, sell one and keep the other. I ran the numbers for the capital gains, going up next year, and that is staggering, at least to me who never was able to earn much money during my working years. One thing I have learned is not to take any decision without careful forethought if you have a choice.

Maybe some of this would have been better on the farm forum, but I'm not known there but have been lurking a little and offered a comment about treating animals for fleas and with what.

I had a lot more but deleted it, tend to ramble on too much when I get to writing even though it wasn't my initial intention. There's a wealth of good info right here on WS about building up and improving the soil. I've learned so much.

ontheteam, that made me chuckle. Wise advice. Never heard that one before.

Thanks to all of you for your time and input.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 12:46PM
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Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished...use gardening as a way to relive stress, not make more of it. That's my advice.

Such great words of wisdom, token. I could stand to take that advice to heart myself!

Aliska, I am so sorry you're struggling with things...nothing takes the wind out of my sails than unresolved issues, be they personal, financial, whatever. I just wanted to offer my experience with pulling up stakes and making a big geographic move.

In 2004, I couldn't take one more second of living in a big city on the East coast (Providence, RI)...the crime, the noise, the high cost of was killing me one day at a time. I had just gone through a nasty divorce, I loathed my job, and nothing much was working in my life. I did a ton of research, sold my home and most of its contents, and set out for a small town in the prairies of Kansas (which I had never seen).

At first, it was heavenly. The silence was such a huge (welcome!) change...the people were open and friendly, and I paid a pittance for my new country home. I took a year off from working, just to regroup and refocus.

But eventually, the realities of life began to surface. The house needed repairs, and I was a single woman, alone, knowing not a single soul in this town. I got sick, and had to get through that alone. I began to do some gardening, but constantly bit off more than I could chew (I still tend to do that at times!), and the resulting frustration sent me into a downward spiral. I missed my daughter, who stayed back in RI to finish her education at a private prep school...and my parents, especially my Mom. So, while there have definitely been more ups than downs with this move, there were some serious trade-offs to make in order to start a new phase of my life so far from all I've known. I am 43, by the way.

I guess I'm just trying to show you the other side of the coin, and offer a different perspective. You can run from life, but you cannot hide...problems will exist, no matter what your location is.

Please be well, know I am thinking of you and hoping things get better.

Susan in Kansas

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 4:44PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Well Aliska - I'd trade your lost tree for my week. :)

I thought is was bad enough that we've had to listen to 4 weeks of clear cutting trees (down to the last possible stick and toothpick - including chipping crumbs and scraping to totally bare earth.) Today we found out we should expect about another 4 weeks of it and that family is also likely to clearcut all the wooded hills directly across from our house.

THEN - the power company has just started a huge project using their giant flying chainsaw to cut branches off other trees nearby to help prevent winter power outages from iced tree branches falling on lines. Sounds like a good idea, but 6 hours a day of helicopter and giant chain saw less than 1000 feet from the house, on top of the logging noise, and the sheer level of environmental destruction is just overwhelming.

And when they chainsaw the tree branches they keep hitting the power lines so we spend most of the day without power - listening to the helicopter and then 10 hour per day loggers. Can't even leave the land because with power out, the livestock fence power is out. Not safe to leave them unattended.

We will probably have helicopter and the power outages for the rest of the week, and logging for 4 more. Thousands of trees are being removed from the nearby area and the birds are all very distressed as their homes are demolished. It's just a horrible thing.

I've got a couple of videos that give a tiny look at what's going on. And for the logging, think of a lush forest being leveled into bare earth.


Here is a link that might be useful: big chain saw

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:08PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Wow, Lynda. Helicopters and chain saws are two things I never expected to be used together. Not surprised they keep cutting the power lines.

Sorry that you are losing the woods around your area.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 2:03AM
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Susan, thanks for sharing. At least you had the intestinal fortutude to make a decision and act on it. I think you were wise to get out of the big city atmosphers and problems, but I can see how difficult it has been. I wonder if, at some point, you can reunite with your family again as it sounds like you're not alienated from them. The young often choose to move away somewhere else anyway, so there's not much you can do about your daughter. I think I succumb to escape fantasies so had better be careful. I know I'd look back and be sad about the good aspects of where I have lived. I know people who have relocated and couldn't be happier, it seems anyway. But both you and I are single, I'm a bit older than you, so that makes it even more difficult. And you have no support system. If you're like me, I think what I would do if I need help. Then I think that the nice people that would help if I asked, what and how would I be able to reciprocate?

Lynda, if there was ever a horror story, that was one. It makes me sick. You captured the situation such as that it makes the reader feel like they are right there, too. I truly feel grief for you, those beautiful woods and the agony of the distressed wildlife. Seeing your videos and looking at a few of your lovely photos, it's hard to imagine how you will get over that carnage. And for what? Do they want to build there or does some property owner find them "inconvenient"? I'm fed up with the rape of the land which is how I see it. And we all indirectly contribute to it one way or another, can't lay a perpetual guilt trip on ourselves, but when you think of what greeted the pilgrims (and it was a harsh life indeed for most) and all the lush woods that were cleared for farms, well it's sobering.

I did a photo essay about disturbing the environment out north of town. Some would think it is better now. I think it was sad. I loathe all the asphalt parking lots, even where they've tried to leave a little green space. I know people have to have a place to shop and park, but it's never driven by good plans, seems to me to be about what will generate the most revenues. These big box places get tax breaks and writeoffs for abandoning one area and building new. I think.

I know things change and we have to adapt. I don't have the answers. Maybe my reaction is knee-jerk, and I didn't write all that to start a controversy, so hope I didn't.

One comfort I have is that I have procrastinated for about 3 years when I knew I needed to act on that tree. But I couldn't do it until the owl nesting season was over as I've had some endearing experiences with baby owls that hatched and nested in my tree. But I wonder if they sense something. I don't think there were any this spring. And I noticed no squirrel nests either. The workmen assured me that no birds were disturbed when I asked them. I didn't think in time to mention before they started, but it was a concern.

My granddaughter called me and was so sad a couple years back. She said when she went to work (at the mall) they were working on a sign. There had been a bird's nest, and the workmen just threw it on the ground, eggs and all which were smashed, of course. It made me so sad, then mad, I called the mall management and/or sign company, maybe both, and complained (and I don't make a habit of those kinds of calls), knowing it wouldn't do any good but feeling speaking out might jerk somebody back to reality/awareness.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 11:19AM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Aliska, you are right. "Rape of the land" is completely accurate.

What they are doing is beyond clear cutting. The ground has been scraped bare of everything.

We don't know yet whether they will do the woods directly across from us - and if they don't do it now, will they come back and do those the neixt time they want $$ in their pocket?

We talked to one (non-logging) neighbor yesterday and the view from his house is even worse. It's not one family logging their land - two are having their land logged at once. We can only hope that the one closest to us is only logging part of his land, not the whole thing.

There could be the chance that further neighbor wanted $$ for the total clear cut, and closer neighbor saw it as a chance to piggyback on, get some $$$ and then save $$$ on prepping a building site because the logging carnage is basically like a big parking lot. But we don't know.

About 4-5 years ago a big local paper company clear cut all of their land in the area. Thousands and thousands of acres, and it changed the local weather patterns - just now starting to recover. But they left rootstocks, brush, stumps and grass tufts behind to regrow and provide some wildlife habitat. My gravel driveway has more living plants and wildlife habitat growing on it than the mess over the road. I can't even imagine what will happen to those hills the next time we get a flash flooding rains.

I'm going to try to get a photo of the carnage in the next few days. It makes me sick - but I'll put it on Flickr labeled "clear cut" so people can actually see how bad it can be.

At least the wild animals on our land have a protected home. I've got baby bunnies in the garden eating my flowers - but have enough flowers to share with them. Chippie the Chipmunk ate more strawberries this year than we die - but he left us most of the raspberries since they were out of reach. We made sure to plant his favorite variety of tomato this year since he's a big fan of Banana Legs, only takes one at a time, and eats what he takes.

Sparrie the sparrow is a daily visitor and when his baby jumped from the nest before completing his flying training they built him a little fort in the echinaceas for safety. He's learned to fly but still likes to come visit his temporary home. Goldfinches drop by daily checking for seed and hoping to harvest ripe seed pods before I do.

Form the end of the driveway on upwards the world is still a beautiful, though currently noisy, place. I'll do battle on the environmental mess by treating my own land gently, saving seed, and working to make my little corner rich, diverse, and hospitable to our animal friends.

I'm glad your owl family was well taken care of.

Oh - you might like this. A story I shared with another garden webber recently:

"The voles and I have not yet come to a happy compromise when it comes to perennial poppies. The next plan of attack is to sow a ton of poppies, carry them on longer in nursery pots, and then plant out a ton of them all over the garden in hopes that the voles only eat the ones closest to their favorite tunnel runs.

Getting rid of the voles is not an option. First of all it's unlikely to work. And they are cute - around here they call them "short tailed mice" and last year I scared one in the garden bed. It tucked in to a corner of a dry ditch and put it's hands over it's face and seemed to think that it was hiding adequately. How can you not like an animal that does that - even if they do occasionally take out a plant or two? I just need to plant hundreds of everything to allow for snack losses."

Once again, I really am sorry you had to lose a favorite tree. We still have 100 ft Oakie the Oak and I hope to never lose him. He deserves to outlive me. But trees to get ill, and like pets - sometimes you need to make the final decision before they do it for you.

I hope you've had time to grab that cup of tea and look at the sunlight in your yard with fresh eyes. A bunnie, chipmunk or vole may be counting on you to carry on and help them get a gentle garden home. :)


    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 2:48PM
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I can understand selective culling for logging but greed like that, you'd think there would be ordinances or laws against it. It's just shocking and sickening, especially when so many more people now are more environmentally conscious. I hope I see your photos when you post them, know how it hurts to take them.

People who use firewood can have managed woodlots. Even though I'd rather fell dead trees, if you must, take only what you need, leave some to grow on, and replant what you took. That's responsible management.

What are these people thinking other than greed? I don't think in extremes, but come on. Even in some subdivisions, they try to save the best trees and plan around them.

I like your philosophy. I have a tender heart towards animals and critters. I like your attitude about planting accordingly. I just fed my resident chipmunk. Lives under the front porch, even left a hole for it when had repair work done. It's probably not always the same one, fed it some seeds today.

Yes, I made a fresh cup of tea, and my room with the view looks right out on, my tree stump. I'll get used to it. I saved a little piece of wood from it and seeds earlier (the ones with wings).

Sometimes critters get in the house. I save them from my cat if I can, have a Havahart trap but doesn't work that great. So I've prayed and it just works out one way or another. I have a neat little catch and release system for bumblees that get in the house. I have accidently killed a couple trying to save them, get caught between the storm windows but I use a yogurt cup and very broad little knife. They fly to the window glass trying to find a way out, I plop the yogurt cup over them, slide it up to where I can maneuver the knife and gently slide it underneath, take it outside and release them.

I really enjoyed your tender stories. Maybe you should write like Rachel Carson or Garrison? Keeler. You have a way with words and a nice style, could touch many hearts and minds.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 3:56PM
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How is every one today?From reading on the other side,seems like many have gotton the rain they so badly have needed,thats good.We are looking for rain in the next few days,yeaaaaaaa
It has been very hot here,

Lynda, where were you going to post your pictures of what they have done?

Your story is sobering to say the least,thank God,you are close to the clearing, perhapes many of the critters will find their way to your woods,I know here,in Illinois, all the baby birds have left the nest already,I am hoping the same is true where you are.
We had some logging done not far from here last year, you used to be able to drive past a beautiful wooded area,lots of wild flowers too,now,all is gone, only stumps left!
It does seem to be that the wildflowrs are more abundent,and there are new "twigs'coming up, but for the most part, only stumps, so sad.

I think most of us on tis forum, try hard to be care takers of the earth,we can all do our own part, be it big, or small,it all counts.

Alice, you sound good today,I hope you can find some joy every day,I shared your story with my daughter, we both feel bad for you,one step in front of the other Alice,and keep posting your comments to us all, you have a lot to offer,you are needed here.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 2:35PM
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I felt bad that I got reprimanded but I can see their point although others go OT, but let's not go there.

It's been a fruitful discussion I suspect, not just to me but for others as well. Now I doubt most of the participants or potential participants will see it. Oh well. I pretty much had my say and am trying to move past it.

Carol, thanks for pointing out where the discussion was moved to.

Lynda, I hope you come out from your daily horror show on the other side somehow. I don't like to be so negative, but I can't see any positives coming out of your situation compared to what was. I suppose it has always been thus one way or another.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 4:31PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Here's the photos (shows the nearest 5 of the 40 acres logged):

And the link below will take you to the helicopter chainsaw videos.

So far the piece of land directly across from us still has trees, and local rumor is giving us hope that the owner isn't going to log that part - at least not this year. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.


Here is a link that might be useful: Helicopter chainsaw videos

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 6:13PM
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OMGosh Lynda,That is a travisty! A sin actually.
If you were coming out of your drive way, are the rolling hills,all the woods that have been cleared,that you have showm, across from you?This is now what you have to look at?
40 ACHERS?? They will be clearing?Shame on that land owner,some things are just not worth the price you can make selling,years and years of growth, downed in a matter of hours.
I am so sad, for all of us, we are all neighbors,and we will all pay the price for all the damage we do to the earth.
Thank you for posting Lynda,I am glad I planted two trees today.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 9:07PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

The bottom photo was taken from the foot of my driveway, looking right. So the clearcut is just down the road. If they don't swing back this way I won't actually see it unless I'm at the end of the drive or by the road. Or up in the area where you saw the helicopter chainsaw cutting - but we've got that fenced off right now and are planning to colonize it with wild blackberries. We'll just need to look at berries and not the view when we are up there.

The latest rumors are that the stretch across from us is not in the logging plans. I sure hope the rumors are right. If that's the case, the noise should end within a few weeks and then I can ignore the carnage unless I'm checking my mail or working along the road edge.

We'll see what happens.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 10:57PM
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