A Place in the World Away From It All

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One mile over. It’s such a small distance, but it might as well be a million miles away. We moved here to get away from the standard suburban neighborhood. We had great neighbors, but we were in need of more space so we could scream at our kids in peace and quiet. We were so close that we could hear conversations happening on the other side of the fence while we were inside our home. From the back of our home, we looked across a pond at a dozen other homes. There was no sense of privacy if you weren’t hidden behind closed shades. I could never allow the girls to run free on the weekend mornings whenever I had a few precious minutes to sit quietly on the back patio while drinking my coffee (and when I say the girls, I’m not referring to my daughters). We needed more elbow room, and we were desperate for trees.

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So we moved a mere mile down the road. In case word has not gotten out, allow me to be the first to tell you that trees are immeasurably awesome. If you have them, keep them, and if you don’t, put some in if you can. Why in the world builders and developers continue to mow them down is truly beyond me. Perhaps our friends are all closet tree-huggers, but we have yet to have anyone comment about how terrible it must be to have our view mucked up by all that nature.

Although we have lived here for several months now, I still find myself in awe of it. I have never been surrounded by so much green. There is life everywhere I look, and I feel like I’m breathing it all in (but don’t worry – I take Zyrtec as needed).

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I lie in bed at night and watch fireflies flickering around our yard. Over the past month, I have seen more colorful birds behind my home than I have ever seen in my life. We see owls in the trees in the evenings and hear their calls at night. And when a storm rolls in and the wind blows through the leaves, the sound is magical.

owl house

Life continues to have its ups and downs, but the setting inherently leads us to moments of calm in the chaos. We can’t help but encourage nature to come even closer. We have set up so many birdhouses that we are contemplating implementing some kind of aviary taxation system to help us pay for them. I’m afraid to run the numbers, but I’m fairly confident that our funds going toward bird food purchases are about to lap those designated for our people food purchases. Not that my husband would complain, but I’m still thankful that I handle the bills.

birdhouse

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We have played with hummingbirds, spent time adding raised garden boxes, planted vines and flowers, and set up impromptu extra beds in our room so we can watch the lightning storms brighten the sky through the silhouette of the trees together. Even my hydrangeas do better here. This may seem trivial, but those who have also led countless hydrangeas to their death will appreciate that gardening miracle. Life thrives here despite my questionable botanical track record.

On the animal front, we spent several weeks trying to decipher the various tracks we would find each morning in our yard. This was especially surprising given that the tracks were inside our enclosed fence. Ultimately we turned in our Indian guide badges and bought a game cam (best $50 I spent EVER).

game cam2

game cam1

The pics above are from two separate evenings. The other one hundred plus evenings that the game cam has been in place has revealed even more animal species, and that did not include the wild hogs, deer, bobcats, or snakes (bleh) that have been seen here, too. We have since further enclosed our formerly thought to be enclosed but not as enclosed as we initially believed fence. While we still find tracks regularly in our yard, I now point the game cam outside of our fence line to the adjacent thicket of trees. I need to believe that the wild kingdom within our fence has slowed a bit and refuse to acknowledge the reality that we definitely still have a serious nocturnal zoo living in our yard.

As a side note, I would like to mention that I have discovered that raccoons and armadillos are the jerks of the nocturnal animal world. Thanks to Ranger Rick, all of my bird feeders have to be placed five hundred feet off the ground or very literally chained to their branches. If you are in need of large carabiners, don’t bother going to Amazon. I already bought their entire stock. In addition, we now have to put huge stones around all new plants to keep the leprosy kings from digging them up (Nine-banded armadillos are carriers of leprosy and are native to our area. These cootie factories with claws have been wreaking havoc in our yard every night as visions of sugar plums dance in our heads). Are these cute from a distance? Yes! Are they about to become a hat and a weird kitchy Texas-themed lamp? Even bigger yes! But once we move past the jerk animals of the night drama, it still fascinates me to know that they are so close at all times.

kids and hummingbirds.jpg

That’s just how it is here. We are minutes from our previous home, but we are light years from our previous life there. I feel infinitely blessed here, and it makes me want to talk to people about the wonders that they could see if they would leave or replant a few native trees and bushes. Maybe our little plot of magic will inspire someone around us to invite the wilderness back into their yard, too.

Image result for lorax unless

On that note, I will leave you with the final words of a book I have adored since my childhood. We read it to our own children now, and the words feel more important than ever before.

“Catch! calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
It’s a Truffula Seed.
It’s the last one of all!
You’re in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Place in the World

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. boundlessblessingsblog
    May 16, 2018 @ 01:25:47

    Breathtaking pictures and such a beautiful post. Thanks for the awesome share.

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Place in the World – Station | What's (in) the Picture?
  3. derrickjknight
    May 16, 2018 @ 02:56:09

    Enticing photographs and excellent writing. The idea of screaming at your kids in peace and quiet is attractively funny

    Reply

  4. LA
    May 16, 2018 @ 07:30:33

    ❤️❤️

    Reply

  5. José María López
    May 16, 2018 @ 08:47:46

    From 8 until 13 years old I also lived surrounded by nature and I just loved it. I have great memories of my childhood. Your photos remind me of that time.
    I have postponed leaving Mexico City for years and I want you to know that seeing your photos has been an encouragement to finally make the decision. I don´t have any girls wanting to run free but I still have great reasons to move away from Mexico City 😉.
    So, next stop, Cancún. In few weeks I will be sharing new writing and new photos from there. I am sure it is going to be a great change.

    Reply

  6. misifusa
    May 16, 2018 @ 08:53:56

    On my bucket list is now a visit to your paradise – well to spend time with you has always been on it! LOL What an amazing place to live! I love that you moved to such a unique place and to think, it was only about a mile down the road! Keep the photos coming!

    Reply

  7. I tripped over a stone.
    May 16, 2018 @ 10:00:14

    What a wonderful move this turned out to be. So happy for you Jo! Loved the post. ~kim

    Reply

  8. overthehillontheyellowbrickroad
    May 17, 2018 @ 16:18:08

    Ah, what a wonderful post. I loved reading every word. I admire your courage for picking up and moving, even just a short distance away from your old home. It made me smile from ear to ear as I read about all the wildlife, trees and shrubs you’re enjoying and nurturing. My best story is, one night, my husband left an empty pizza box (with just crusts inside it) on the back porch. At 2 a.m., I happened to see a possum eating pizza on the porch. I thought I was dreaming. 🙂

    Reply

  9. Inside The Rainbow
    May 20, 2018 @ 01:22:49

    Lovely post Jo. A nice and gentle start to my Sunday. 🙂 X

    Reply

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