Another item on the list that says, choose. Another day in which I am going to say, nope. There is just too much and too many to pick just one.
I may have mentioned, I live in a rural area. I live in the very house I grew up in and my folks are next door where my grandparents resided. Between the land the houses sit on and behind us, are approximately twenty acres of family land. My grandfather bought it and we have treasured it since. The land has given us a much greater appreciation of nature and what it offers.
All those trees.
As kids we climbed some of those trees, created look out posts and Tarzan type adventures. We built clubhouses and trails galore through the woods. When the summer sun got too hot, we escaped to the shade created by that leafy canopy. The trees that grew on the sides of the hills created a type of training course, a challenge to climb the hill without sliding back down, due to all of those fallen and decaying leaves.
One of my greatest moments of sadness, was the loss of one tree. Yes, in all of the expanse of woods, there was one special tree. I had discovered it while hiking. A huge, white, Oak that had roots that covered a small pool created by the small creek that crossed the property. The bark of that tree had carvings dating back to the eighteen hundreds. Initials and dates of people who had passed that way, maybe filled a canteen or two from that creek. But the timber was sold off the land and that tree was taken. A part of history lost and a teenage girl’s heart broken.
The fresh water springs.
There are several springs back there. The water suddenly coming up from the ground and crossing through the woods. One that helps keep that small pond with at least some water. The others, meeting up along the way to keep that small creek flowing. I lost count of how many times while hiking that I would stop, and where the water crossed quickly over rocks, I would dip my hands in and drink of that water. Nothing tasted sweeter nor would quench a thirst better. As kids, we would have contests to see who could catch a crawdad (crayfish) without getting pinched.
The pond wasn’t there when we were growing up. My dad had it dug, carefully following all environmental rules and regulations. My folks didn’t want problems, just a place for the family to have some fun. Mom was given four white ducks, that is a whole different story in itself. As the pond can be actually.
It doesn’t matter whether they are wild or cultivated, their beauty and purpose makes each special. I actually lean more toward having a greater appreciation of wild flowers. Wildflowers have less possibility of being tainted by any chemicals or growth processes that would cause harm to our pollinators.
I find a particular peace and joy to walk into a field of flowers where you see the bee and butterfly busily moving from flower to flower. Joined by hummingbird and hummingbird moth, and more than a few spiders. Nature’s ballet being performed right before your eyes.
There are guides that teach us which flowers and vegetables when planted together pair well. Some flowers are good at keeping various pests from a garden. Some even keep insect pests from a yard. Some, that are intended to keep one pest away, may draw another, like catnip.
To be able to get out and hike through a wooded area, where the peace and quiet is amazing. Where the sounds of nature are more music than noise. To be able to follow a creek, or a branch as my grandmother called it, listening as it played its own song. Fishing, picnicking, hunting, or maybe just sitting on a hill and soaking it all deep within. Sitting under a canopy of leaves, hearing a summer shower fall but knowing you are safe from the worst of the rain.
Our homes are on a single lane, dead end, dirt road. It is nothing to sit and watch the critters of the woods pay a visit. I’ve watched possum, racoon, and deer on a regular basis. I’ve seen fox and coyote cross the edge of my yard just about dark thirty. Because of the coyote, there are not as many rabbit as there once were, but there are still a few. Squirrel by the hundreds with all of their acrobatics. Night before last my son and I listened to a bat which seemed more or less annoyed at our night time activity with the water heater. Either that, or it had found a good meal which it was bragging about
. I do have a healthy respect for these animals. They are wild and need to be treated as such. Just because they may come into my back yard searching for a possible meal, does not mean they have come for a set down, pet me visit.
In case you haven’t noticed, I love it here. There aren’t any grand vistas, no majestic waterfall thundering down, and no beach to park a chair and umbrella. There are however memories, peace, and healing from the craziness of the society in which we live. Can I pick one thing from nature of which I am thankful? Yes. That it exists.