Friday, July 8, 2011

Dancing Around on the Soapbox of Hope


The other day, while returning from a days drive over to the far western part of the state, I drove by a section of road a few miles out of town where the landowner had posted a homemade sign stating, "Do not spray. Fruit Trees." I made a wish as I went by that those who worked for the state would appreciate this and listen.  I did not extrapolate with concern over my own wildflower strewn roadside; it didn't cross my mind that anyone would be down our township road to spray, or for that matter mow. How naive I can be.


The next evening the neighbor happened to call and mentioned that they often come by to spray or mow the roadside this time of year and would I mind if he put out a sign telling them not to do either along our road; between the road and my old fence line several wild flowers are in bloom, which enhance his walk to the mailbox.


Buddy and I have, also, been appreciating the changing wildflowers while on our walks. Earlier, several wild iris were along our regular route, not to mention the meadow full of buttercups. Now, there's a tangle of wildflowers that make the days feel sunny even when they're not.


By eight o' clock that evening the signs were in, one on each end of that stretch of road. I'm very grateful for his presence of mind and that he's lived on this road longer than I with an understanding of the possibilities. I would have been heartsick had they done either. Systems have a life of their own and often don't come with compassion or a love of wildness. I'd like to think that will change. I hope. 


Seeing these wildflowers gives you a sense of just how proliferative nature can and will be when left to her own devices.

33 comments:

  1. Such lovely flowers! I like wildflowers best because they grow freely and exude such an independent spirit. I'm so glad you put the signs up : )

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  2. Does the grass ever get so high it reaches your waist? My father often let the mowing go for weeks and the yard really got so overgrown. Finally, he got the hint that he should start mowing again when the milkman offered to lend him his lawn mower. lol

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  3. Hello Teresa:
    We do so hope with you that the verges will remain uncut and that all those wonderful wild flowers will be allowed to set seed.

    A similar problem exists within the UK although, to be fair, in recent years the policy has changed somewhat so that now only a half of the verge is mown rather than previously the whole.

    The excuse given as to why anything must be cut is Environmental Health and Safety!!

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  4. The beauty of the wildflowers is so delightful, it does seem sad to know that if you had not posted the signs, they would have been gone. And your captures of the walks is not enough. I want them to stay, too! :-)

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  5. You are a champion of nature and you saved the wildflowers.The daisies offer a sea of beauty. This time of year, everything is blossoming right on schedule. You and Buddy, enjoy your mail walk.
    Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

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  6. It's a wonderful idea to place such signs. The wild plants are vitally important for the insects and for us all. And they bring joy to your heart those beautiful flowers - white, yellow, red and blue and purple....

    Flower greetings
    Grethe

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  7. You've done a great deed, Teresa. I predict that every wildflower you save will add an extra day to your life.

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  8. Good deal and hope others do the same after seeing this. What Teresa said here is important.

    "Seeing these wildflowers gives you a sense of just how proliferative nature can and will be when left to her own devices."

    Very briefly-spraying did not start until after WWII and didn't really get rolling until the mid 50's and continues today. It's been awhile ago but I remember exactly what I saw and experienced as a kid. You would not have believed the amount of animals and plant life there was. It hasn't been like that in many years. Other farming methods besides chemical use contributed to this as well.

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  9. LADYCAT, I think it's that spirit of independence that so draws me to them.



    GIGI, I have at least two acres I mow. It's almost park-like. These areas are all around my property where there are either established meadow or areas I'm returning to meadow. I decided I needed less lawn and more of nature doing her thing. I wonder when it became so necessary to mow one's lawn? It wasn't always the case. Maybe your father was ahead of his time? :)



    JANE AND LANCE, Have a verge is better than none? I hope the day arrives when they understand the need for the whole verge. :) Don't you just love how bureaucracies can present something as though it's good for us, if not necessary? So many things fall in this category....



    DJAN, I have trouble comprehending the motives of these bureaucratic nightmares. I do hope....



    MANZANITA, It's a great time of year for wildflowers. From now until frost there will be an ongoing and ever-changing array.


    GRETHE (THYRA), That is something I've been noticing more than ever, how the insects are responding and turning up in larger numbers: more dragonflies and butterflies, and yes, joy!



    GEORGE, Thank you for this kindness.



    ONE FLY, Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if chemicals had not become a way of life? Thanks for your info, and for caring.

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  10. JANE AND LANCE, Half, of course, although Have worked in its own way. :)

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  11. Theresa, you and your vigilant neighbor are my heros this day! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  12. Penny, You are so sweet. I have so many good friends here in bloggerville, all doing some fine things to draw attention to the beauty of this world. I thank You.

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  13. I love the wildflowers! Can't imagine spraying.

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  14. It's good that your neighbor got those signs put up. The county here used to spray, calling it "weed control" and we put up our own signs too. I frequently see signs that say "I control my own".

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  15. LINDA, Hopefully, the world will turn away from all this chemical use.



    MONTUCKY, People have become much more aware over recent years, and the tide may be turning.

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  16. One of the projects I worked on was roadside plantings. The county found they save tons of money not mowing and the look is benificial for many who travel the highways.It seems they could make a list of where not to harm the natural areas around you.
    Steve,OOTP

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  17. They do add so much to the world's beauty, don't they? Thanks for reading and commenting, Abe.

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  18. My husband worked for the county road dept. for over 30 years and roadside spraying was part of his job. I absolutely would not allow him to spray anything at our house...ever! And there were many areas where people had posted "no spray" signs along their property. It's especially lovely when the area stays green, as it looks to be doing where you live. We are not so lucky here. Things started turning brown months ago. Summer in Calif. is always brown and dry. Just the opposite for back east.

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  19. Hi Teri, Yes, it's very green and lush still and will no doubt remain so into September. The humidity can be tiring some days along with an abundance of deer flies in the morning and mosquitoes in the evenings right now. Hopefully, they will calm down soon.

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  20. A perfect example of how a small act to do the right thing can make a huge difference. Not only have you helped to preserve an ecosystem but you have helped to maintain a "canvas" of beauty that is irreplaceable. Thanks from us all!

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  21. Hey Bill, I'm most grateful for all that you do, as well. There are some fine people doing some very cool things to preserve beauty and draw awareness to it. I have become more aware than ever this year how even small ecosystems are part of the Whole and each one should be nurtured. There's a wonderful co-existence to life and It becomes more apparent as I pay closer attention.

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  22. I like the way you think Teresa! Let the wildflowers and wildgrass flow! :)

    Happy Sunday!
    xo Catherine

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  23. Cat! Oh, yes! And I trust you're out there amongst them, instead of doing the laundry today. Plan B. :)

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  24. Good for you and your signs! I hope your mowers heed them. The ones in Austin this year have been fierce. I've complained about them in several recent posts, like the one at

    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/sunflower-colony

    I've never seen so many roadsides and fields here looking so barren because of all the mowing.

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  25. Steve, I'm so glad you visited. I went right over to check out your own blog. Thank you for all you're doing to preserve the beauty in this world. Your nature photography is outstanding! "Where have all the flowers gone..." was sung many years ago, but it is more timely than ever. I remain hopeful that the tide will turn.

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  26. Thanks. Glad you like my pictures and my mission. I certainly remember the song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", and I may still have recordings of it by Peter, Paul and Mary (in English) and Joan Baez (in German!).

    By the way, my wife's name happens to be Evangeline.

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  27. Ah, the name: lovely synchronicity. Joan, in German. Very cool. Thanks again, Steve.

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  28. Wildflowers make no effort to please and, in doing so, they please the hell out of us.

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  29. Cletis, That's a nice thought. I like that.

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