Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
Well, I read it. This is what I was going to post in reply, so there !
I was going to reply to your thread about ignorance/bliss, but you eidited out. Anyway, I was going to suggest that you try to NOT look at the big picture. Not now at least. It is too depressing and seems insoluable. Maybe it is insoluable. The more I learn, and that isn't much yet, the more I see invasives everywhere. I'm not sure (seriously) that I can find any understory or ground plants that are native.
Many places I walk with my dog are filled with flowering mimosas instead of oak and maple and beech and all the other trees from my childhood. I've always recognized them because when I was 6 or 7, my father called that beautiful tree a "trash tree". The same for white mulberry and Tree of Heaven. I never forgot that even though I didn't know why hey were trash trees. That was back in the mid-fifties when even fewer people than now had any idea what those trees would do to our habitat.
From that my second thought is that you concentrate only on your own property. Do it with a purpose and a happiness that will make people curious about what you are doing. A few of those people may be interested enough that they will learn more. Especially see if you can interest children. That is like planting acorns. It will be many years before those children will be the fruit of your ideas, but some will. When your property is looking decent, not perfect, with some natives established, offer to have some elementary classes come to your home on a "filed trip" where you will explain what you planted and why, and especially add in some of your tribal history if you can. Anything that can catch the children's interest. Maybe they will even talk to their parents who may have some questions for you.
I think you and I may be at about the same novice level on all this. I also think from you edtied (deleted) post that we may have similar personalities. I know that I have a strong tendency to become frustrated and angry with what (to me) is clearly stupid and destructive behavior - like planting and selling invasives - when the evidence (to me) is so clear that we are harming our environment. However, my attitude when I get that way is very off-putting and works against me. Even people who may have had an open mind do not want to hear anything from an old grump. I try to keep myself aware of that, not with enough success.
My right hand neighbor is very good with making all things grow. I am obviously not. We've had a few over-the-fence convesations about what I am doing. She thinks I'm crazy to be doing all this work. To her "invasive" I learned means "takes a little more effort in her yard". I mentioned that it means much more to our forests and streams and fields. I didn't "lecture" or get adament about it. She does not want to learn anything from me. That's OK. I hope she tells 100 people about her crazy neighbor who can't even get flowers to grow and she's ripping up her whole back yard. Maybe some of those people will know what invasive really means or they will be a bit curious and go look up why our common landcaping plants are considered by someone to be invasive.
Don't be angry or depressed. Work on your own backyard and be pleased and enthusiastic when you talk about what you are doing. People will be receptive to learning about what is so satisfying and pleasing. They shut down and turn away from anger or righteousness.
Thank you, more-green-than notgrnjean. :-) I am a novice, though not one to "saving the world." I have never felt so ineffective as I do here, however. But I'm here now, so I have to learn how to deal with it. I'm not a tribal member, and that makes it more difficult for me personally. I can't participate in the government here. So, I think I need to do some writing and perhaps (after I have experts like Equilibrium check out my facts) I can get the tribal paper to print them.
You wrote, "...my second thought is that you concentrate only on your own property. Do it with a purpose and a happiness that will make people curious about what you are doing... Don't be angry or depressed. Work on your own backyard and be pleased and enthusiastic when you talk about what you are doing. People will be receptive to learning about what is so satisfying and pleasing. They shut down and turn away from anger or righteousness."
It's very good advice, notgrnjean and some that I need to be reminded of. I shut down as well to anger and righteousness, including my own. Anger and sadness don't get shut down so easily, however. But I do love this property, even if it is all covered with junk (real garbage, something like 16 cubic yards worth) and trash plants.
The advantage of living here is that no one will enforce any rules (if they exist) on me, either, hence I get to take in as many dogs at a time as I can handle. (9 is the magic number, 8 feels like an empty house, 12 was insane!).
Thanks for assuring me I'm not looney. :-) I very much appreciate your time in writing such a thoughtful post and concerning yourself with how I feel, and sharing that you could be like me (uhmmm...I could be afraid FOR you...lol).
You're not off your rocker. I read your post before you edited it out. I vacillate between being overwhelmed and focusing on my property where I can make a noticeable difference. There are certainly times when I am out and about that I fancy myself wearing those nice carriage horse blinders to block out the sensory bombardment of all that I can identify around me that doesn't belong. You're certainly not alone.
One thing is for sure, there are no experts. The more you learn, the less you know because God throws curve balls.
Tribal Law is tricky business. Best to find an ally on the Reservation and share your concerns with them and ask them how best to approach this situation. Then, start thinking outside the box.
Let me give you an example of thinking outside the box that worked for me. We have a serious problem with deer. Herd numbers are 7x that which they were in the early 1900's yet their habitat has been decreased substantially. Our state and local governments have long been trying to educate residents on chronic wasting disease (CWD) and how encouraging deer to congregate unnaturally by feeding them may be exposing uninfected deer to those that are infected yet oddly enough the risks to public health weren't being addressed. I found this omission disturbing given I am a parent and have pets. I had a neighbor who was setting out salt licks and corn cribs. A neighbor, mind you. A neighbor who had received all the same literature on the dos and don'ts of artificially feeding deer that I had received. Additionally, we had all received flyers from the Village advising us that the act carried a $1,000 fine yet she continued to stock that corn crib. I was very frustrated because I'm not a whistle blower yet on the other hand, we're on circuitry overload with the deer as it is and what she was doing was drawing them to her property through mine. We actually had well traveled hoof trails through our property straight to hers. The damage was astronomical. Finally I sat down and began creating a flyer of human communicable diseases that deer carry and added a few copies of newspaper articles as well as a copy of the law and associated fine if convicted. I also recall adding a print off from a website for parents on how to spot symptoms. I put this flyer on every mailbox under the flag to include my own mailbox. The salt lick disappeared the very next morning and the crib was never refilled. Most everyone around here has children but they were one of the few families with very young children who were rolling around in the lawn that was well trafficked by deer. Just a thought. Many people enjoy wildlife and many people enjoy gardening but... most all people love children and don't ever want to see the health of any child jeopardized. We're human beings. It is only natural for us to care about other human beings. Does this make sense to you?
The suggestion to consider offering tours of your property once you've established some native plants is exceptional. There will be teachers who will be interested in what you've got going on there but there will also be Scout and 4H groups that will be interested. I can assure you actions do truly speak louder than words. I let children visit my property. I show them what's going on to include successes as well as the mistakes I've made and how I've corrected them.
Don't you love how their youthful eyes light up during feeding time for your caged DGers?
I remember fondly how you reminded them to toss acorns to Guy; samaras to Decumbent; ginkgo fruit to dybbuk; and some cones to Dax. Oh, and Thin Mints if you wanted to encourage fecundity in the pistillate population.
Pretty soon, deer problems will seem like yesterday's news!
I have six or seven deer right outside my backdoor almost every evening. They like to eat the pears that fall from my tree. They used to be very timid and would run as soon as I opened the door, but they are getting to the point to where they are not scared anymore. Now they just stand there and look at me. If I start walking toward them they will start walking away, but not running.
Excuse the mess in the background, it's a big pile of dead privet and wild grape. Almost impossible to get rid of without fire. The birds like it though.
"it's a big pile of dead privet and wild grape. Almost impossible to get rid of without fire. The birds like it though." Ah, a useful purpose, and you don't have to water, feed or trim!
I would have liked to leave two very large almost dead oaks in my front yard so the squirrels and racoons could keep using them, but they were tilted toward my neighbor's house. (Bacterial Leaf Scorch is killing all the oaks here, thousands of them.)
In Colorado, the mule deer used to chase after the dogs! They weren't little dogs, either, 7 of them! Of course, we'd often count thirty or more mulies in the front yard. They didn't eat my sad garden or fruit trees. I had stinky dial soap hanging in net bags from them, and maybe the dogs were enough of a deterent for the garden. I like to think that the conversations I had with the deer from the porch had something to do with it. (still think I'm not looney? heeheee
escambiaguy, if that's a mess, I definately can't show photos of my place! notgrnjean, it must be rough to see all those trees dying. Did you leave any of the downed oaks in place to rot and fertilize? That would have made your neighbor happy, eh?
You all are incredibly kind to give such thoughtful responses to my deleted post. I tossed dogfood to some sad cases when no one was looking for a couple of days to get immediate relief from total frustration and feeling useless. It's hard not to always toss food, but I don't want them following my truck. I also have a PLA (plan of action) for the mimosa/buddleia/ivy business that's been bothering me. More when I do it, as I'll be requesting assistance. It will be a couple of months. It's a little out of the box, but not so much - sort of like EQ's solution. (kind of like Thomas Paine).
I have to be more patient. However, I never want to be a person who says, "Why get involved? It's not worth it." Maybe when one of these darn locust trees drops a branch, weakened by ivy, on my head, I'll find bliss...with many less brain cells.
I used the bear to scare my last neighbor out of dumping garbage on the ground. I told her it would make him hang around her place. It helped. I haven't tried that tactic with this neighbor. Our Mr. Bear has been doing a lot of rooting around, too. Beary busy - I sleep on the deck, and the night before last he was crashing up a storm through the berries, apples, and pears that are growing with abandoned in the next acre. He leaves piles of scat that can be spotted from the top of the hill, 100-125' away. lol
[quote]bliss...with many less brain cells[/quote] Works for me but being as how I'm a member of the "pistillate population"... I say Thin Mints for one and Thin Mints for all.
Oh V V, I vaguely remember a thread like that. Please e-mail me which thread it was that you were referring to? The one with manly men wearing stilettos aerating my lawn thread... or the revenge of the nerds thread... or the pole dancing around dead Mimosas thread?
V V is gone for two weeks so I guess I'll have to pick up where he would probably have commented lest I be accused of alluding to something as opposed to coming right out and saying it, [quote]"it's a big pile of dead privet and wild grape. Almost impossible to get rid of without fire. The birds like it though." Ah, a useful purpose, and you don't have to water, feed or trim![/quote] There are considerably better plants out there with which to create habitat brush piles but privet is good for nice big bon fires. Snap crackle pop and all! .
Oh I didn't pile that privet like that. That is some that I killed with brush-b-gone. It has been hard to remove because of the tangled up mess of vines on it. I was hoping it would rot down, but no luck so far. I'll set it on fire one day.