Blue dragon flies hover just in front of the mower. I’m cutting because it looks neater, and by most people’s standards, this grass needs cutting.
I can’t help but think: what if I didn’t cut?
After mowing under the apple tree I found a tiny pink egg, smaller than the end of my baby finger. There was a nest here. I placed the egg in Princess’ hand. Why has no one destroyed my home today, leaving me safe with my children?
I promised the kids another trip to the east slough. It’s drying up and the grass on its shoulders is now as tall as Princess, who calls that she can’t keep up to me and her brother.
Blackbirds with red shoulders, a pair of ducks and other creatures scatter as we descend.
“Nothing here,” my son calls out through the wind.
Various grasses bloom over bright green peat moss; water ferns surface. He finds long snails, “Probably 800!” and shares them with his sister, whose boots aren’t nearly as tall as his.
These days I’m reading David Suzuki’s “The legacy” – a tiny book that astonishes me. He’s in part responsible for my love of ecology, having brought “The Nature of Things” into our home on a regular basis since I was a child.
“It is humbling to realize,” he writes, “that if our species were to go extinct overnight, biodiversity would rebound around the planet. In contrast, the loss of an insect group such as all ants would result in a catastrophic collapse of terrestrial ecosystems ... There is no predator higher on the food chain than us."
The chicks needed a screen door and I thought mine clever. I salvaged hinges from an old door with some help from Farmer and hung my creation, eyeing that four inch gap at the top. Would anything get in there?
Once the kids were in bed that night I cut more grass and before dark white cat hair left above the door frame indicted the predators who’d wounded several and killed one chick. I’d underestimated the cats.
Ecology is practical. As a species, we underestimate our destruction of earth by living unsustainable lifestyles. Recently I decided to replace facial tissue with handkerchiefs because I love trees and all the life they support, including mine.
Replacing “disposables” is only the tiniest step toward erasing my daily ecological destruction.