20 August 2007

Dad's Eco-Experiment


My dad's pushing retirement-and to ease his way into that, he began a little ecological wonder on his property. After grandad passed, the farm was divided and my folks ended up with 10 acres. They put corn and soybeans in for a while, but in the last few years, let it go idle. Then dad planted about 500 trees, planted wildflowers, dug a small pond and stuck some fish in it.....goldfish. He's even part of the chestnut tree re-introduction in Indiana.

There are paths mowed through this and the woods that came with the 10 acres....my parent's house sits in one corner of this. They've stuck patches of garden here and there, put up birdhouses and placed a bench back by the little pond. Mom and dad were pretty thrilled that frogs took up residence in the pond. He let some pheasant and grouse loose too..........not a happy ending to that part of the story. And of course, deer roam in and out.

The grandkids all love it. And I do too. It's nice to get out of town and into the country-the woods is where I grew up playing as a kid. As a people, we are suffering from being out of touch with the natural world-like a deficiency syndrome; even a little pocket like this could work wonders. Unfortunately, the size of acreage is just shy of having it classified for Indiana's forestry program; but the commitment to making it available to future generations is probably more solid than many of the larger tracts that come under the term "classified". My siblings and I recognize dad's dream for the property, so I'm hopeful that the area is preserved for future generations..........because our "wild places" are growing smaller and fewer.

And maybe those pheasants will even come back.

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