Landscape watercolor depicting a vacant residential lot after having been bulldozed.

Wildlife Conservation Starts in our Own Backyards.

Wildlife Conservation Starts in our Own Backyards.

Nature knows nothing about boundaries or borders.

An empty lot, one house north of us has been purchased. It's been empty since the great depression of '09. It was demoed and left without city services a few years after it was lost to a bank.

Nature said thank you and grew wild and free in and around the property. This year this lot and all its trees housed four pair of blue jays, one opossum, one raccoon, two pair of doves, offered rest to our bald eagles in the very tall, very old pine trees, and the ground itself fed all the foragers with grasses, weeds, and wild flowering shrubs. One homeless person found a home there. Creating a private, dark sanctuary inside the belly of the wild and wild things. I walk Dante, our pittie, down the length of the field behind our house, which also runs behind the house of our neighbor and the lot. We enjoy all the wild things. Dragon flies to bees to butterflies and all else. I pick up garbage caught there by the trees. Left there by the winds and the homeless man. Dante stirred up bugs, sniffed clean rich soils hidden under low branches. I looked up to the trees and watched our birds live out their day. 

New owners have plans. Currently, removing all the wild things. They took one of the three very old pines. Punk trees, large green flowering shrubs. All of it is expendable. Gone and going. One palm is left, as well. Maybe. Who knows end of day? Last night my husband walked Angus, our hound, to watch the progress and walk a dog. He saw a man with a backpack standing near the white pickup truck that brought the equipment to flatten the wild things. Being homeless is being a wild thing. He watched his safe evening haven destroyed.

This morning with one side of the lot wiped clean, our backyard sounded different. I know how it should sound. I spend time each morning listening. Open to the voices of the wildlife and wild things. Tomorrow will sound different as they go about their contract's line item. All hail progress without pity! I shouldn't be too upset. This isn't Lake Okeechobee level destruction. This isn't Miami/Dade blight. It's just a thing that weighs on me a bit. You can clear property carefully, to leave the wild things a slice of wildlife. Or not. Humans like "or not". It's cheaper. Faster. Gets a homo Sapien down the treeless road. Gets the homeless into someone else's backyard. Efficient you might say.

I feel for the homeless man that lost a moment's rest and comfort. He probably walked many roads and miles to find just a bit of sanctuary inside a world that tossed him aside. I feel for the wild things having created a wildlife out of land tossed aside by a bank. Its value lost inside a grifter's investment portfolio of bad debt. I feel for us as humans. We are so internally strung up for selfish self-abusing behavior. Damn the torpedoes, and the bees. Full speed ahead. Where? We do not know, but it's better make money.

Someone wanted those trees gone. Some wild things needed them to stay. I feel all that deeply. 

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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