Wednesday, November 23, 2011
This morning I'm watching the turkeys run through my woods. No doubt they are heading for my bird feeders and deer feeding stations, hoping to find dropped seed or leftover corn from the night before. As they scurry past my cabin windows I am struck with passion for the animals who share this land with me.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Here, on my acreage, all animals are honored, for their life is as precious to me as my own. Each one can live here feeling safe, and knowing that this land is protected for them. Here they can roam about, find food and shelter from the huge brush piles made just for them. Here they are not hunted.
As a vegetarian I will enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. My mashed potatoes, gravy, faux wheat meat, herb stuffing, roasted butternut squash, creamed boiled onions, cranberry relish, New England Brown Bread, and pumpkin pies will satisfy my hunger. And I will be thankful for the lifestyle choices I've made.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Looking out my cabin window this morning I'm noticing the bare trees and how fast the seasons pass. As we enter one we get excited about what it might bring, but in three quick months it disappears. Then it's on to the next, and again we change our perspective.
Last year, during the autumn months, I took my annual trip to Maine. Southwest Harbor was bustling with life and, on occasion, you could catch a glimpse of the locals readying themselves for the coming winter. Rows of wood piles separated homes from one another, and it was easy to note which houses had wood stoves. Most did, by the way.
My days included walks on the rocky beaches nearby. I climbed in and around the kelp covered stones until I was too cold to keep going. Once, on the way back to my car, I spotted one lone feather sitting proudly for me to view. It was white and rested lightly atop the kelp, and it was gorgeous against its dark backdrop.
I looked for the feather's owner, but it could have come from any one of the eleven seagulls close to shore. Until, that is, one looked back and held my eyes for a moment too long...
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Autumn days are special to me. While life marches on for most of the human population, it also goes forward for the animal life on my acreage. We prepare for the coming months in the northeast by making sure we have the proper heavy clothing, wood for stoves and fireplaces, and shovels. (Where do they go every year?)
Animals, however, walk through these fall days making sure that their tummies are full, and they pay attention to food sources for the coming storms of winter. Squirrels are hiding nuts and seed from my feeders, chipmunks, too, are scavenging the woods for food, scurrying back to their homes with bulging cheeks.
From my cabin window I watch the deer and fox. They fascinate me. Deer coats are changing color, turning a darker brown. They blend in with the fallen dead leaves and deadwood on the ground. But, the fur of the fox stays a gorgeous red and their tails are fluffy, large and tipped with white. During the winter they are extremely visible as they run through the snow. I wonder why Mother Nature chooses to darken the coats of some and not all, leaving the fox vulnerable. A question to ponder?
I'll supplement rations for the deer this winter as I always do. Not too much, but enough that they know it will be there for them during the stormy season. When food is hard to find, and snow layers the forest floor, corn and sweet feed will cover the feeding stations at the edge of my woods.
One winter evening I saw a raccoon, a lone fox, eight does and two bucks, and a opossum, all feeding from the flat rocks near my cabin. At the same time! The birds, squirrels, and chipmunks had all found their night homes. And the wild turkey had flown up to roost in the tree tops.
What a sight. It gave me a Spiritual sense of knowing that we're being taken care of on this planet.
All of us together. All of the time.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
It was almost the end of October and I sat in my cabin looking out at my trees bending in the wind. A normal sight, I thought, but then it started to snow. And snow! Wet, sticky and furious, it snowed all night and the trees suffered greatly. With the leaves still on most of the branches, the weight of the snow snapped off the tops of many. Limbs broke and fell to the ground while other smaller trees just gave up the fight and uprooted themselves.
We ended the following day with ten inches of wet heavy snow, and three acres of debris. With chainsaw in hand, I'll work hard on the cleanup.
As always, there are gifts from every disaster. One of the many will be the HUGE brush piles for the animals and birds to hide under this coming winter. With every snow or ice storm, animals look to find shelter in my woods. These large piles are perfect places to rest, getting out of the harsh winds and lashing snow. They may be made by my hands, but the animals don't care. It is cover and they'll hide within and out of the reach of Mother Nature's fury.
Animals and birds bring a special energy to my land, and all of them share a part in my story. They are the purist light of themselves at all times. There is a lesson in that for me!