This is how you restore the environment. Begin with the plot of land in front of you. Be the steward with the grass and animals in front of you. Take care of the water in front of you. I write of sagebrush in California, grouse in Colorado and the fir in Washington — magnificent places. And, I will continue to do so, but the 53 acres upon which I reside in North Erath County, Texas, is my first responsibility. From what I learn and observe here, I can extrapolate to other communities and families of living things, beyond Texas. You may, as a reader, trust my observations — and corroborate — my conclusions if I write of prickly pear and sagebrush that I live with everyday, like a brother or sister, those plants. I encourage you to be the steward to the plot or the trellis of climbing vines in front of you. It’s right there, within your care. Please read on and don’t forget the list of restorative goals for Flying Hat Ranchito. Through the cycle of seasons, I will write about attaining or failing the objectives. Yes, it is an imperfect world, but some ways of behaving are less imperfect than others.
What I seek to accomplish in Sage to Meadow blog is to write about nature, wild and domesticated living things, people that live with the land and the constant cycles of the seasons that envelop our lives. It is not all pleasant, this nature writing, because life is abundant and green one season, gone and brown the next. Today is the first day of spring in North America and other northern latitudes. We now evolve into abundance and the green, but not so far removed from winter, it seems, as the season this year seemed unusually long and cold — and we’re not completely through with winter as snow dust falls here at the ranch.
Predictably, the cycle into spring yields abundance for our consumption: De Leon peaches in July for our nutrition, Gulf of Mexico warm wind for face and neck, Texas bluebonnet for the eye, the peeps of newly-hatched sparrow chicks and the scent of fresh vetch in field. Polymorphously, we are plunged into nature. Like it or not, we are here. Yet, to every description I present, another can be stated to counter: mosquitoes, allergies, April the cruelest month, and so on — come the spring. So true: ant and butterfly in our midst, pain and beauty within a day’s toil.
For the moment, however, this first day of spring, I want to mark the restoration of nature — oh, it’s not ever been that far away — with respect: respect that The-Incomprehensible-Spirit-That-Moves-In-All-Things still animates the world despite corporate and individual behaviors that injure and destroy. I include nothing mystical nor religious in using the word, “Spirit,” but rather I intend to refer to a force, an urging in nature and physical forces we encounter and do not completely understand. I do not want to lose what we have, incomprehensible or not. I seek restoration and preservation.
I think we can restore natural families we have damaged: sagebrush, grouse, deer, shortgrass and fir. I may, at the end of the day, be proven wrong in assuming we could correct ourselves, but for today I will walk with respect for spring in my pasture, stride through shrubs a’blooming in The Grove, and fervently hope that the restoration of nature will be fulfilled.
Restoration Short List for Flying Hat Ranchito
1. Retard and prevent soil erosion in pasture with planting of native grasses.
2. Give protection for deer migration in The Grove: allow brush to obscure their loafing areas.
3. Seed native wildflowers in lanes and bypaths.
4. Encourage pair of roadrunners return to arena area and cactus grove.
5. Shred not high native grasses: allow cover for birds and fox.
6. Find strategy to encourage return of wild turkeys in pastures.
7. Limit shredding substantially: allow grasses to seed out, encourage field mice, hawks.
8. Build new brush piles to harbor wildlife.