We’ve been living in our site condo for just over 12 years now. I’ve never lived anywhere longer. What appealed was the floor plan – open, light, chance to spec materials – so we went for it. Wrong decision, ultimately, but I’ve tried to make do.
Our condo is located in a development hell surrounding the ugliest golf course in America. Everybody I’ve ever talked to that has played the course has done so only once. If you must build a golf course (and I’d like to see them all obliterated) then please make Augusta your standard.
One of my coping mechanisms for living where I do is to slowly remove as much lawn as I dare. I cannot look at lawn today without thinking of the water, fertilizer, time, and pesticides used. Quite simply, lawn rates right up there with mans ugliest inventions.
On our North side, all of the lawn came up and we replaced it with the bird room. White cedars line our property boundary. It’s a large rectangle, so the west and east “doors” are trellis. On the east trellis is trumpet vine.
West trellis has grape vines and wisteria. We also put a Hawthorne tree in, and a viburnum bush. All native plants.
We also dug a 3 foot by 3 foot by 3 foot hole, filled it with water and laid rocks all around it. A pump keeps the water circulating.
A couple of bird feeders round it all out.
Over the years, I’ve planted many more trees and enlarged beds. Future plans include more of the same.
If you build it, they will come.
I’ve been rewarded by the wildlife. Oh, nothing exotic, but deeply meaningful to me nonetheless.
For three years running, I saw the same toad in my yard. I named her Squatty. I swear sometimes she followed me around. She posed for countless pictures. A fine specimen. One year, I just didn’t see her. The following summer, I saw a male. I like to think he’s her son.
The pond has attracted green frogs. One is a truly brilliant emerald green with amazing copper accents. I named him Kermit and he is a beauty. There were also duller brown frogs, some quite small, and my books assure me that green frogs come in a variety of colors. They appear with warm weather. I think they may have hiberated in the pond last year. I hope so.
I dubbed the whole group Kermit and his harem. This is actually incorrect, as it is generally females that are bigger than males. But it is also true in nature that females are duller in color, and Kermit is gorgeous. I’d love to get a good picture of him, but he’s very shy. And quick.
Yesterday, the lawn care assholes were out mowing and edging. My difficulties with these morons is a topic for another day. Suffice it to say that I don’t believe handing power tools to 18 year old males with little supervision is a good practice.
I came home and saw a motionless frog quite a distance from the pond. I was so upset. I did notice it was a larger frog, but dull in color. There was a little blood on his face, and one of his hind legs was stretched out, the other pulled tight to his body. My first thought was that he got hit with a weed wacker.
So, I did what I do. I went online to see what might be done for an injured frog. Basically, other than taking it to a vet, the best thing is to move it to safety. I really hoped he’d hop when I went to pick him up. He didn’t. I couldn’t pick him up out of the grass easily. My husband did it for me and confirmed that a weed wacker hit him right between the eyes.
Someone paying attention and caring about the world wouldn’t have senselessly murdered this wonderful little creature.
Today, I looked out the window and there sat brilliantly green Kermit. I spotted another of the smaller frogs moving about. Life goes on.