Taking Care of Nature

The birds are coming back to our feeders. We have been having trouble with Feral Cats, normal cats that have gone wild. One such cat bit my granddaughter when she tried to befriend it. For a while our yard was silent, not bird songs or squirrel chatter. We knew it was because of the cats because we’ve seen them and the problem has been discussed in the news of Minnesota. Down in the cities, they’ve started a program. If someone can trap one and bring it to specific vets throughout the city, they will neuter the cats so at least they can live but won’t make more kitties. I stopped in at the Morrison County Animal Shelter and was told we don’t have such a program out here. She didn’t say the actual words, but had lots of empathy, “We have the same problem out at our house,” she said. “We can’t take them here at the shelter. We have our hands full with our domestic cats.” Then she added, “Do what you have to do.” Our neighbor’s son has a trap and captured one last week. I didn’t ask what he did after that.

Some people may think I am heartless. But I really believe that it important that we observe nature and be aware that the circle of life is maintained. We humans,  after all, have screwed things up building our towns and cities anywhere we please irregardless of the animals, bugs and flying creatures we displace. The woman at the shelter said that the cat problem is a case of the circle being disrupted. If we lose our birds, we give free reign to the insects they eat…and in Minnesota where the mosquito is the bully of bullies, we need our birds.

Living Locally

I’ve read in several places that as things fall apart around us due to bad management at all levels, we humans will be depending more and more on one another in our local settings. I remember the book that Barbara Kingsolver wrote Animal Vegetable Miracle in which she told of her family’s year of living off the land, season by season. They had knowledge of native plants as well as those they could produce in their garden, so foods that grew in the forest and ditches around them was part of their survival. There was also the use of the produce of their local farmer neighbors, emphasis on local. This book makes me imagine the life the doomsday naysayers are predicting but reading it in a book penned by Kingsolver makes it seem sweetly appealing.

Kingsolver and her family decided at the start of their adventure that each person in the family could select one luxury food item that they just could not do without. Barbara chose coffee, which would be my choice, too. As they went along, they became masters at preserving and preparing the food that they bought locally and harvested. In the end, they realized that living locally is survivable; assuming that your local region hasn’t turned into a desert, though the Zunis might have something to teach us about that. The Kingsolver experiment is what I imagine could be the experience of the world one day as systems such as transportation fail us. It sounds adventurous to me until I think about energy systems failing and going back to reading by candlelight and using outhouses. The thought of going to an outhouse three times during the night in middle winter in Minnesota is really upsetting to me. Oh yes! I remember the chamber pot my Great Aunt Mary had!

I am too old to learn all the stuff people would have to know. I guess I will be one of those dependent on the brawn and brains of those around me. I really should get to know my neighbors better

Waking Up

The wind blew in my face and I sensed the hair tickling my chin

The semi roared in my ear and I heard the song of the chickadee perched in my branch

The sun glared in my eyes and I saw pollen floating from the trees

The soup crossed my tongue and I tasted the cilantro surfing on its waves.

The thought came to my mind and the Spirit swept it away.

Harvesting

The produce is a-comin’. Bernie will bring a bag of cucumbers and tomatoes to the food shelf today. I will bring some also to St. Cloud and share them with friends I see today. More tomato canning to do and salsa. Freeze carrots. Egg plant…can’t wait to make egg plant parmesian! I will gather up some chard this morning for one particular friend who knows what to do with it. Before I leave I will scramble up  some eggs with chard and add cheese. Yum! Onions and potatoes are already pulled up. Just enough peppers for us, no need to share those. Later…three kinds of winter squash that we will share, too.

We had BLT’s last night for supper. We wanted to have corn with it but our neighbor’s corn is not doing well because of the drought. So sad.

Time for a genuine harvest festival.

Little Green Caterpillar

I stepped out into my yard yesterday and beheld a small green caterpillar dangling from a silk thread that connected to a branch in a tree. I watched it wind the thread into a little ball as it moved from 2 feet off the grass to the leaf 10 feet above. For such a tiny little thing, I was amazed to see it move so swiftly. No more than 15 minutes. When it reached its destination, it dropped the ball of thread which continued to hang off the lowest leaf, then crawled up the leaves above it. What in the world was this little guy up to? Why had he dropped down bungy-ish to the ground below? I went into the house and checked the internet…which at the moment I kind of loved. Following is the web page that I found and I share it with you. It answered my question, even had a picture of a little caterpillar just like the one I’d watched.

http://www.wildpnw.com/2011/10/25/hanging-by-a-thread/#comment-37477

Watching the little guy was amazing. I thought what it might be like hanging over a cliff, pulling myself up like that. I thought about the things I hope to accomplish in my life that at the moment seem absolutely beyond my capability. Such stamina. Such courage.

Meanwhile in the field behind my little green friend,  I could see farmer Bill harvesting his burnt corn stalks, accepting of life as it is. He will plant his seeds again next year. Such faith.

Humbling. Inspiring.

The Moment

Fearful about possible hail, Bernie and I picked a couple of buckets of tomatoes. He laid them out on the picnic table that he pulled into the garage. We sterilized jars. Today, we will can.

The storm was light. I wish we’d had a deluge. Our neighbor farmers would have liked it. It is too late for their corn and beans, but maybe a good pour would help them remember that God is still sending rain.

I am praying about Syria. The thought of innocent men, women, and children dying from chemical weapons is horrifying. But bombs kill, too. Death either way. I think of Peace Pilgrim and her message of peace, which the world has not yet given a try. Violence only leads to more violence she said. Peace has to begin somewhere…in some act of restraint. Jesus hinted that it begins with each of us making a decision to love our enemies. This is so difficult.

Buzzing Around

Not much to say today, except that it is a lovely one. At 10:30 am the air is cool, sun warm, all is quiet at Birch Haven Resort. I took a walk on the trail behind the resort. All the way a bee or fly swarmed my head. That often happens when I walk. I don’t flap my arms and swat my face any more. They never land, just circle around buzzing. What is it about one’s head that a bug finds so interesting? Are they there to annoy or to honor? I suppose one could make either of it.