Friday, June 15, 2012

Post # 16 Meet the neighbors

The following is an account of this morning's activities:

7:01 am.  Rise

7:02 am. Visit bathroom

7:03-7:25 am.  Stretch

7:32 am. Start coffee, step outside, sit on patio.  Observe:  
  • blue skies, no clouds
  • 58 degrees F.
  • humidity low
  • no noticeable scent on air

7:33 am.
7:34 am.
  • honeybee flies past (where is it feeding?)
  • high altitude jet flies overhead, heading south, leaves contrail
  • motorcycle speeds past the driveway (probably in 4th gear), heading south
  • vireo continues to sing
  • nuthatches continue to call
  • chipmunk chirps from patch of grass on hill
  • wineberry flowers are opening, no bumble bees on them yet

7:35 am.
  • light breeze twinkles the tops of mature trees next to the house
  • single leaf falls from black birch tree next to the clothes line (falling in June?)

7:36 am.  Inside kitchen, pour hot coffee, add half and half

My patio and backyard.  Weather permitting, this is where I enjoy my morning coffee and tune into the lives of my (nonhuman) neighbors.  

7:37 am.  Back outside sitting on patio.  Observe:
  • unidentified bird (dark colored, compact, slightly smaller than a robin) whistles from the pignut hickory tree, flies to a nearby sugar maple, calls, then flies back to hickory
  • nuthatch calls increase and are matched by nuthatches on opposing side of the house
  • sip coffee
  • nuthatches spread out among four trees and continue to call
  • unidentified bird (similar in size to a robin) flies over the house from the south
  • American robin calls from the cliff to the south
  • vireo continues to sing
7:38-7:39 am.
7:40 am.
  • take a big sip of coffee
  • two planes overhead, one flying south, a higher one flying southeast
7:40 am. and 30 seconds- 7:43 am.  Walk with coffee in hand to a patch of grass next to the porch.
  • the blue-eyed grass is still closed from the night (I wonder what time it opens?)
  • red admiral butterfly is startled and flies away
  • the lady's thumb is in full bloom 
  • the white clover is in full bloom
  • gulp coffee
  • nuthatches again congregate on a single tree
  • unidentified moth (smaller than red admiral, white wings with black spots near wing tip), flies over the patch of grass and continues toward the flowering dogwood tree
7:44 am.  Back to the porch, sitting.  Observe:
7:45 am.  Inside kitchen to make breakfast...I wonder what else I'll find today...

Since March 2012,  I have written weekly Blog posts describing specific ways that people can live lighter on the land: ecological landscaping, garden tips, energy efficient appliances, green home-building techniques.  Today's post marks the beginning of a new thread, and one that is foundational to all the rest – knowing what you are living among.  As stewards of the earth we must first know the earth.  As stewards of your backyard you must first know your backyard.  As I have illustrated above, there are entire worlds taking place in our backyards; rich lives of plants and animals that go wholly unknown.  One of these days– when you're ready– go out and meet the neighbors.  That's the first step to Living Lighter on the Land.        

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