Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Changing Landscape

Is it okay to start out the new year with a tad bit of negativity? I hope so, because in the last couple of weeks, we've watched the goings-on behind our house and neither Romie nor I are all that happy about it.

There is a farm field between our property and the creek and this field drains into the creek when it rains. There are many trees, shrubs, and plants lining the ditch bank all along the creek on both sides. Or at least there used to be.

On the west side of this ditch (our side of it), there has been an ongoing removal of the growth all along the length of it, to the eastern end of the field.

While I understand some of the logic behind it (to keep the drainage pathways clear), I'm disappointed that there will no longer be the close-by natural habitat for wildlife that we enjoy throughout the year. This will force some of it to find shelter elsewhere - likely in the woods that are some distance away.

August 2007

Summer Azure, August 2007
At least for now, the growth on the east side, which belongs to a different landowner, will remain. But there will be no more wild grapes for us to pick, no more Dame's Rocket to scent the evening air as we walk along the creek bank, and fewer places for the wild turkeys, deer, and other wildlife to hide and live.

I can't help but remember the numerous times we've walked along the creek and marveled at the number of butterflies that love what grows there as much as we do.

In time, there will be trees, shrubs, native grasses, and wildflowers once again, but we'll miss them until they return. It's funny how you become so used to the little things that are the landscape of your life and bring enjoyment in such small ways. Always in a state of change - that's normal - but sometimes we wish it wasn't.

August 2007

Maybe this would be a good time to do some guerrilla gardening. If some wildflower seeds just happened to fall along the creek banks, that wouldn't hurt anything, would it?


FilipBlog said...

It is a pity they cut does trees. It looked nice and you will probably miss the wildlife. However, you still live in a nice surrounding. Here in The Netherlands we can not dream of such a place. In our area we pay a 1.000 dollar per square meter of land. Imagine that.


Patti in Seattle said...

Here in Washington State, riparian areas next to creeks and rivers are protected by law as they are vital to the creatures that live in the water. I would suggest you contact your county government to see if there are similar laws in Ohio.

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

The thought of what is happening to your beautiful scenery makes me teary-eyed. I am saddened when natural environments are taken out. And your poetic way of describing what you will miss breaks my heart. I think wildflower seeds are definitely in order.

Kylee Baumle said...

Filip ~ Whoa. That is a LOT of money! Here, I'm surrounded by farmland, with woods dotted here and there. Most of them have been cleared for farming, so even these areas along the creeks and rivers are important to the wildlife.

Patti ~ I doubt that what they are doing is illegal. In order for the fields to drain properly with our heavy clay, the waterways have to be kept clear enough, so when the growth impedes that, they're cleared out. As I said, I understand why they do it, but I wish they didn't have to.

Cindy ~ I'm hoping that things will grow back quickly. Trees take longer, but those wildflowers... ;-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

My heart is always saddened when the farmers "clean" out the hedgerows, creek sides etc. Sigh~ Not far from where I lived there was a neglected farm and it had the most wonderful hedgerows. A Loggerhead Shrike nested in one area. This bird is almost extirpated from IN due to loss of habitat. A young energetic farmer bought the old farm and cleaned all the hedgrerows and now we never see the Shrikes. Very sad to me.

Kylee Baumle said...

Lisa ~ Your comment reminds me of the time we saw a Virginia Rail in our yard. As you know, they like to hide and their natural habitat is around water. With nothing to hide in, our chances of ever seeing it again are lessened. (It's not likely we would ever see one again anyway, but you know what I mean.)

Donna said...

so sad when woods are neighborhood was woods and cut for development...but the developer decided to keep woods and "forever green" areas so wildlife and wildflowers and woods will stay un harmed and undisturbed...can you guess where my house is...I made sure I bought the lot that had forever green behind me...lots of wildlife and no neighbors or development...guerilla garden away to preserve what you must!!

Kim Martin said...

I love guerrilla gardening!! Go for it!! If I were closer I'd sooo help you!! I hate that kind of change as well!! So best wishes to ya'll and I hope all that awesome stuff grows back soon!!

Earth Girl said...

I don't know what watershed you live in, but I'm on the Board of the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative ( that includes half of Williams County and a bit of Defiance County. Clear cutting is not illegal, but totally degrades the quality of water. Storm water run-off and field drains need to filter sediment and nutrients before entering the waterway. The recommended practice is a wooded buffer zone or wetlands, both using native plants. Do not contact your county drainage board, but contact your Soil and Water Conservation District or your local watershed organization. There are federal and state programs that will cost-share to replant the buffer zone. You are in the Western Lake Erie Watershed and millions (perhaps billions) of dollars are being invested by the EPA to clean up the waterways which drain into Lake Erie at Toledo. That bay is becoming a dead zone (incapable of supporting aquatic life) because of such actions as clear cutting ditches. Contact me if you want more information. We are currently organizing stakeholders in the middle St. Joe, including Williams County, to develop a watershed management plan, the first step to implementation grants from the EPA.

Mary S. said...

I've been guerrilla gardening a patch of meadow the city owns next to our lot for 10 years. Everyone thinks those wildflowers just appeared -- HA! Go for it.

Kylee Baumle said...

Donna ~ That's great, Donna! That's where I'd want to be, too. :-)

Kim ~ I'll do my best! :-)

Earth Girl ~ I'm not sure which watershed we live in. From what I can tell, it's the Maumee, but we might be south of that. Let me tell you...when they cleaned out Blue Creek just south of us, you would NOT believe the erosion that's taken place since then. Unbelievable. I wouldn't even think the landowner would be happy about what's happened. Topsoil, falling into the creek.

Mary ~ I think it would be fun to do it, so I'm going to see where I can get large quantities of wildflower seeds that are appropriate for our area.

garden girl said...

I so feel for you Kylee! Those kinds of changes are ones I'd prefer to live without too.

I love the guerilla gardening idea. I was looking through the Prairie Moon catalog today thinking the same thing about a certain section of the back forty belonging to a certain neighbor of ours.

Kylee Baumle said...

garden girl ~ Linda, I got my Prairie Moon catalog today, too! I love reading it. So much great native plant information in it!

Nutty Gnome said...

It's really sad that they cleared the trees out, so yes - go for the guerilla gardening!
I'm feeling a bit negative after the arson attack on our potting shed on Christmas night, but I'm sure I'll bounce back again soon :(

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