Thrifty Yankee Pollinator Friendly Tree Stumps

Six hazardous trees were removed since I’ve lived here, three of which were towering white pines. One had partially come down and damaged another tree; another was hanging over our house and a limb took down our neighbor’s fence. I would never want to remove a tree unless it was creating a hazard that couldn’t be mitigated with cabling and pruning. It’s also very expensive! The cost to have the white pines taken down were almost $2,000 each. Stump grinding would have added an additional $400 each at that time. One was ground down but the rest? Here’s what I did with them!

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“It’s the Circle of Life.”

“It’s just the circle of life” feels like a hollow platitude often stated without emotion, like you’re supposed to just “get it” and move on. A life with an open heart is not that way at all. Nature is healing and cruel, beautiful and brutal, mysterious, indifferent yet in tune with a Divine Force. It’s only when I’m alone with nature that things feel like they serve a purpose while this crazy, human-dominated civilization filled with nonsensical tragedies doesn’t seem to at all. I grieve at the reality that hawks eat chipmunks. One took sweet Buddy the chipmunk in front of my eyes two years ago. I think I cried for five days almost non-stop.

It’s one thing to know something and another to have involuntary traumatic proof given. Of course it may only be traumatic to those of us who are “overly sensitive” individuals, especially when there are baby chipmunks involved.

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Give them an inch and they’ll take it!

Yesterday I gave up on my belief that I can make a positive difference with respect to wildlife after one of my chipmunk pals ingested poison on a neighboring property.

I want to be an “influencer” but not in the arena of nonsense like “buy this wrinkle filler” or “click here to get a discount on my favorite $400 t-shirt, I’m so obsessed!” I don’t make any money from this. I simply want to spark an interest in wildlife. I want people to fall in love with their own backyard, so to speak. I do this because those living, breathing intelligent mammals who experience pain, fear and suffering deserve our respect and kindness. They’re the underdogs and I will always be in their corner. It’s been that way my entire life. The insect poster child of pollinators, the Monarch butterfly, is essential to our survival. Their population has declined more than 80%!

Someone I know who bought my book Wishy the Bookworm Chipmunk fell in love with him. He would bring it up every time I saw him and tell me it brings him a lot of joy. I asked if Wishy inspired him to see the chipmunks in his yard differently? His entire countenance changed into something somewhat demonic as he said: “Oh, you don’t don’t want to know about the things I do to them!” Seriously. I walked away.

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“It’s just a chipmunk.”

“As we live and as we are, Simplicity – with a capital “S” – is difficult to comprehend nowadays. We are no longer truly simple. We no longer live in simple terms or places. Life is a more complex struggle now. It is now valiant to be simple: a courageous thing to even want to be simple. It is a spiritual thing to comprehend what simplicity means.” ― Frank Lloyd Wright, The Natural House

FLW’s quote reminded me of my little booklet celebrating Squares, also with a capital “S” by Charles H Brower who stated: “Too many of us haven’t got the guts to stand up straight and dare to be square”. 

I’m feeling this more than ever right now. It’s not easy valuing creatures and ways of being that many today view as being naive or living in a bubble (which I do). I experienced this when I wrote my book, American Women Didn’t Get Fat in the 1950s which I wrote eight years ago after being annoyed with the book, “French Women Don’t Get Fat.” Something very simple such as counting calories in a healthy, measured way which for me is no different than keeping a budget in Quicken is labelled by many (as a general concept) as having an eating disorder. Doing my best to be a good Steward of my land has put me at odds with people and policies over the years. My Certification for my home being a Wildlife Habitat isn’t just a feel-good thing to mention in a blog post. Living in an outdated cottage isn’t just about pretty vintage linens and decor.

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Our Two Acre Homestead is now a Certified Wildlife Habitat!

I’m thrilled to report that our land is now registered and certified by the National Wildlife Foundation as a wildlife habitat! Many of you know how hard I’ve worked over the past few years to embrace a natural lawn without the use of herbicides. I’ve fought to protect our vernal pool from abutting disturbances, turned down an offer from a local real estate broker who wanted to buy some of our land, and had our vernal pool documented by the Maine DEP to prevent improper development in the future once I’m no longer here to protect it. We also have a stream, woods, owls, fern garden, and lots of wildlife! Chipmunks, squirrels, peepers, voles, deer, wild turkeys and many other different species of birds live amongst us. We have all of the five essential elements needed to become certified, and one of them is controlling invasive species which includes keeping cats indoors if you have them. You don’t need to have a large backyard or acreage to become certified!

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