I think what has astonished me the most this week is how (sometimes unwittingly?) destructive humans are. I had time to muse on this as I was wandering around the yard picking up all the various bits of trash strewn hither and yon. Not only was there an absolutely astonishing amount of garbage — and I'm not even including "natural" stuff like torn-down branches here — but I also realized there were holes in the shrubbery line where three rosebushes had been destroyed by passersby. One became the "meeting ground" where passing dogs sniffed and urinated. One was deliberately kicked out in anger after someone sitting on the wall next to it rocked back and got pricked by the thorns. One was (to my astonishment) spotted by one of my housemates as it was being peed on by a drunk attending one of the neighbors' parties!

I find this both exasperating and oddly perplexing. I can see (if not forgive) some slob at the party putting down and forgetting their paper plate and fork — but is it really that common a practice to toss pieces of advertising into shrubbery you're walking past? Why on earth would a passerby rip the lowest tree branch on one of our young trees, leaving it hanging from the tree by just a few strands? What possessed someone to kick loose a few of the bricks in the low front wall, where people like to sit — thereby making it actually less comfortable to sit there? Did I just miss all this idiocy up to this point because I wasn't looking? Perhaps most importantly: how do I get people to stop this pointless destruction?

Good heavens… did I just write the equivalent of "you pesky kids get off my lawn!"? ;)

Teasing myself about being a grumpy old fart is fun, I admit… but I do wonder. We have a neighbor down the road a bit with a yard that's fenced in to about waist height with chicken wire. They have an astonishing, thriving, and wonderful yard-full of various plants, including some raised beds of veggies, some planting-pot greenery that's just starting to grow, some young trees, several little plots of flowers, and lots of other things in their (very approximately) 15' by 5' front yard. It's very nice, and for all I know from the amount of plants, the folks that live there are running a small greenery business.

They also have three tiny yappy dogs with those silly little dog-sweaters that occasionally run around in the yard, or stand in front of the gate and shriek annoyingly at you as you walk by. Earlier this spring I spotted a pretty little hen and a handful of beautiful downy gold chicks there as well, as she led them with careful wariness behind the shelter of some of the plants. I've been assured by friends that chickens can make good pets, each having their own distinct personality, so I wasn't really surprised to see a hen there with the tiny dogs. However, I only spotted the hen one time; I've never seen or heard her or her chicks again. I can't help but wonder if some passerby managed to grab her up and abscond with her, which I think would be sad, if so. I'd prefer to think I've never seen her again because her people are keeping her safe someplace else on their property.

That's one of the things I'd like to do, in fact, once we buy our own house: I'd like to be sure there's at least some property attached. Growing some veggies and some flowers for myself and my family would be quite enjoyable, and making the yard a good place for wildlife would make me very happy. I'd also like enough space for at least a dog and a cat to bounce around and play with me there, and I think it'd be fun to try keeping a hen as well. ;)


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