Destroying Nature All Around Me

This is the second day in a row of heavy fog here, after the cold temperatures warmed suddenly and we got rain on top of snow — isn’t it awesome?Fog out my front doorThat’s the view straight out my front door right now. I love this fog so much, partly because it makes everything seem so mysterious and blurry. And partly because it hides what’s going on all around our home, like this:

Foggy view of tractor tearing down trees across Dutton (800x479)

That’s the same view zoomed in a bit. Notice the headlights across the road; that’s a bulldozer tearing down bird habitat to make room for yet another new home. About a month ago, with no warning, the neighbors up the hill apparently decided to sell off the back part of their lot that faces our property. There’s a big sign there right across from our driveway advertising a custom home builder, and today they’re already starting to tear down the trees. I’m just sick about it. Yesterday a herd of deer were resting in the woods exactly where that bulldozer is right now.

I do not look forward to the noise and dirt that are forthcoming either. Especially when you consider what’s on the other side of our property:

Fog to the left from front door (800x479)That’s a view looking to the left from my front door. The woods belong to us, but just above them is a big field where the deer graze and the hawks and owls find their daily meals.  The field had small signs advertising lots for sale when we bought our house in 2006, but none of them had sold yet. And thanks to the bad economy we were lucky for the first five years to have nobody living beside us on that side. But if you look closely you’ll see a house up and to the left. That one was built this summer. I had a miserable time because I couldn’t enjoy sitting outside to watch the birds or even read a book without being “serenaded” by the sounds of hammers, drills, and saws. Oh yeah, and the inevitable boom box music that construction guys seem to require. (What is with that, by the way? Office workers don’t need loud music to get their work done…why do these guys?)

Big-Yellow-Taxi-lyricsA few weeks ago we had a random conversation with a couple seated with us at a hibachi-style restaurant, and found out that the woman was a realtor. She said she was the one who sold several of the lots up on the hill a few years ago. She said the people have been waiting for the economy to pick up before they would start building their homes. And by the looks of it, now is the time. I’m struggling not to get too upset about all this construction (more like destruction) suddenly accosting my peaceful woodland hideaway, but it’s very hard right now with the nonstop droning of that machine across the road.

When it’s all over with, there will likely be two more homes to the right of the first one on the hill above us and two or three more behind it.  Think about the irony of the meaning of a new home: To those families getting a new house it’s likely exciting and hopeful; to the neighboring homeowners (us) it’s sad and upsetting. And to the wildlife? Well, it could be life-threatening to some of them. But I’m sure I’m the only one in this equation that even gives that a thought. And I’ve lived long enough with my highly-sensitive personality to know that if I voiced my disappointment to anyone else I’d be considered either crabby or misanthropic or just plain nuts. So I shut up and just take it, once again.

Trees are a gift from nature

Trees are a gift from nature

But I wonder, when will it be MY turn to be heard? Will there ever be a time when people like me will have a real voice in curtailing unnecessary development in favor of conserving natural spaces? Sadly I doubt it. “Progress” is king.

I know I’m being very negative right now — and I’ll likely feel a little better tonight after the bulldozer is gone — but I just needed to share this because I feel like nature is under attack from all sides lately. But I do know one thing I’ll do to help offset the destruction and make me feel better: I’m going to make sure we plant as many new trees as possible on our land this spring. As long as I’m here nobody can take our trees. So there.


Update: Hi, me again. It’s been a few hours since I published this post. I’ve been questioning whether or not I should have written with such a negative attitude. In fact, I considered deleting the entire post. But after spending this evening reading about positivity and gratitude (restrain your groans please), I’ve decided that I’ll keep this post here as a reminder of what I don’t want to convey on my blog from here on out. I don’t want you to feel discouraged or depressed after reading what I write. I want to “be the change”, ya know? So I’m going to scrub the negativity from my brain and I’ll be back to put a smile on your face very soon. Thanks for sticking with me!

This entry was posted in Humans vs All Other Animals, Living in the Woods, Threats to Birds, Trees and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Destroying Nature All Around Me

  1. It’s frustrating when someone wants to build in an area that means nothing to them but is special to you. Hopefully, the new people will be respectful to what’s left of the environment around them.

  2. Hi Kim. I don’t feel you are being too negative. I like hearing about what’s going on in your world and you have every reason to feel the way you feel. It’s good that you express these things. HSPs are too hard on themselves in general–I believe this is because as children we were quick to feel shame when we spoke out about the truth that we saw going on–we were gifted in our brilliant perceptions but we internalized the uncomfortable feelings that we empathically felt from any people in our lives who were less…perceptive and accepting of our outspokenness. So now as adults when we assert our brilliant gifts and perceptions we have this inner critic that tells us we shouldn’t have spoken up. Over-riding this inner critic takes time but is so important for us HSPs to stop the negative self talk, comfort ourselves, and say “this is a voice from the past and it is not true about me”. I overcame my inner critic by following Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way book–she tells how to journal in a way that heals our inner critic–it changed my life and opened up my creativity and confidence in ways I could never have imagined. I love how you share your feelings, Kim, both negative and positive, you have such a special sensitivity that is a gift to our planet! Don’t change, Kim! You are perfect exactly as you are and your insights and feelings are right on! Your friend, Roxanne

    • Kim says:

      Thanks for the validation, Roxanne. You’re so right about HSPs being overly self-critical; I always say that nobody can be harder on me than I am on myself. I’m going to take a look at Julia Cameron’s book to see if it might help me too, thanks for that recommendation.

      I really value my perception and intuition and wouldn’t change those parts of myself for anything. They give my life a richness that non-HSPs can’t even imagine. I will say, however, that I wish there was a way to temporarily shut down the part of me that notices every nuance of my environment though. I miss out on lots of potentially rewarding experiences because I find them too overwhelming and exhausting. But you know what? I’m finding out that the more I connect with other HSPs and discuss our experiences, the better I feel.


      • drbobsbirds says:

        I would not change anything either! There were many times in my life when I just wished I could just be satisfied with doing a boring “man thing” (men are not supposed to be sensitive). I sometimes thought I really wanted to be “regular”. Nope! Not me! I perceive! I hope! Yes, I do sense more than others, and sometimes it feels like a curse, but it drove me! My senses give me far more information – and far more opportunities – than than the non-HSP-inclined! Geez! Kim, you have opened a totally new “closet”!!! Look out! I am “coming out”!

      • Kim says:

        Ha ha, maybe that’s what the world needs, more HSPs coming out into the open. Imagine if we ruled the world for a change!!

      • I am glad to hear you are going to look into Julia Cameron’s book–it changed my life and I think you will really like it. So glad to hear you feel better as you connect with more HSPs and Hi Dr. Bob!–Nice to meet you!–I love what you said about the opportunities of being an HSP and that you are coming our of the closet! Yay!!–This is music to my ears! As a Life Coach for HSPs it is my mission to help all HSPs feel empowered and… reclaim our giftedness. Thanks Kim also for putting my blog on your site as a link under Highly Sensitive Bloggers. I am going to list your blog on my mine as well–you empower all HSPs by expressing your True Voice.

      • Kim says:

        Yay, thanks for the link on your blog, Roxanne! Now that gives me an additional reason to keep my blog focused, so it can be helpful to people who find me from your site.

  3. drbobsbirds says:

    Your subsequent post aplogized for being so negative. Not! Yes, you may have had unrealistic hopes when you moved there, but your Mom got it right – buy more land! I think perhaps quite unrealistic – I have seen SO many lands disappear around many special places! And maybe a bit selfish: “Mine! Go away”! But not negative! Hurt, yes! Incensed, possibly! You are stating what we will all see in future days as forests and natural habitats are destroyed for individual wishes. I have often quoted Joni Mitchell on this! But, I think no one in MIchigan really understands yet! Being from southern California, I can guarantee it WILL happen! The only alternative (NOT negative) is to try to promote, protect and conserve the open lands before they are consumed by development! There are several worthy organizations working to this end, but first there needs to be discussion (and perhaps outcry!) of appropriate land use for the benefit of all.

    • Kim says:

      Yes, you’ve seen our future in California, haven’t you? I agree, we need to continue to make our voices heard whenever we get the chance to influence land use. Silence is acquiescence!

      • drbobsbirds says:

        Indeed!!! Without “rambling” now, I offer that recent posts on the birder’s list and Hiking MIchigan cause me serious concerns about the future of our MIchigan DNR’s view of the future!!! Bike trails in nature areas? Amusement parks? Spending the new license fees for business? When I came to Michigan, it was indeed a paradise (aka, Joni Mitchell)! It is becoming SO dimished, I am really concerned! All outdoors people should be concerned! Not just those of us who want and find solitude in the peace of Nature, but also the hunters and fishermen who previously have helped keep Michgan an outdoors paradise!

  4. wandena clair says:

    Hopefully when the leaves come on you will not see the new houses going up as well! The only way you can keep out new neighbors building is to buy all the land around you! And that is not always possible! Our earth is getting more and more populated and we all want our own homes so it will not ever stop. I still love your home and the seclusion of it even if its not as much as you want. I only had two trees on my property when we bought it and both are dead and cut down. Remember the apples and bees!! Maybe you can sell that house when Eric retires and buy out in the country somewhere — but buy at least 150 acres!! lol————-Love you, Mom

    • Kim says:

      Mom, aren’t you glad you planted those other trees in the back yard though? It’s hard to believe those giant trees came from the tiny ones you planted, isn’t it? I still miss that big maple tree in the front yard though. I wish we had a picture of it in all its fall glory.

      I love your idea of 150 acres out in the country. It would be like owning my own world, LOL! Love you.

  5. I’m sorry this is happening to you and the environment around you. This past summer I watched the first section of my beloved walking trail be turned into a construction zone as a new subdivision was carved out of it. The worst thing about these things is knowing there isn’t a thing you can do to stop or change it.

    • Kim says:

      I’m sorry about your walking trail, Kristie. I suppose you’re right that there’s nothing we can do to stop the endless destruction and I know I just need to learn how not to focus on it. It just saddens me that my home won’t be the same sanctuary anymore. I almost wish I could build a wall around us to protect what’s left.

  6. Littlesundog says:

    Kim, I too have written a post then felt it might be too much of a downer. Sometimes I have been pleasantly surprised to find others feel like I do or they have had the same thoughts. I know what you mean though. It sometimes seems to me too that man just encroaches on more and more natural habitat. Where are the deer to go? Where are the birds to build nests and the rabbits to hide? Where do foxes den up, and other small mammals make homes? And people shoot them because they’re in the way… or in the wrong place.

    I was so upset to walk all the way to our south fence line today, only to see someone had thrown trash over on our side of the fence. Plastic bags were caught in low shrubs and liquor bottles and beer cans were tossed in an area. I found candy wrappers and chip bags floating all through the woodlands. i don’t know if maybe some kids partied back there or if someone just threw a bag of trash along our fence, but I was so upset. I just don’t understand why humans are so careless.

    • Kim says:

      I understand exactly what it’s like to find trash on your property like that, Lori. Not long ago I found a big pile of liquor bottles on the hill above the house (in those woods in the third picture here). It looked like someone had been sitting up there drinking. It really upset me because we don’t have any curtains and rarely close the blinds, so anyone sitting up there at night could have easily watched us in our house. Ever since then I’ve felt vulnerable in the house at night, wondering if someone’s up in our woods doing who knows what.

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