Seeing the Forest for the Trees
One thing I love about Our Little House being so far out in the country is the quiet.
I can sit in the morning, as I have all this week, on the party deck or on the covered front porch with the Fearsome Four, reading the newspaper and drinking coffee with nothing but the occasional buzz of the hummingbirds coming for a drink off of the feeder.
However, this summer, there’s been an unnatural hum ringing through the mountains that the dogs have even noticed.
At the top of our mountain, a developer is clear cutting 100 acres of land so he can sell off the land in lots for homes with a “long lake view” (and these are very long lake views since the lake is 5 miles or more from the top of the mountain).
Needless to say, this has been very distressing to us, as well as most of our neighbors, who don’t want to see our mountain turned into “xxx Landing,” or “xxx Estates” as have some of the tops of other mountains in our area.
Our mountain area is wooded and clear-cutting the trees causes numerous environmental issues, one of them being the run-off that occurs when the trees are no longer there to protect the soil from sliding down the mountain.
In this case, the run-off will eventually hit the creek behind our house that empties into the lake next to our home.
The result will be a muddying of the crystal clear cove below our house.
There’s nothing we can do about it, of course, short from buying out every potential developer in the county.
Before the recession hit, our county was the fastest growing in Arkansas, attracting mainly retirees who wanted to live a lake lifestyle after working for most of their lives.
Several successful developments were constructed around us, but several were left sitting idle.
Dale and I ignored the “No Trespassing” signs on our way into town on Saturday evening, driving the long drive back to where they’re clear cutting. If the lots are sold, the people who build there will have a spectacular view, but the landscape bears the scars of the beautiful trees that were downed in the past few weeks and the environmental impact will last for generations.
On Sunday, on our way to the recycling center at the fire station, we drove up a long, steep road. The tearing and peeling sign announced we were entering, “Hilltop Estates,” one of the failed developments that was clear cut several years ago for buyers who never came.
Even the roads through the “development” are grown up with weeds and tall grasses now, but the trees, of course, are still gone.
While one planned development sits vacant, save for one home, another developer with dollar signs in his eyes clear cuts another mountaintop less than 3 miles away.
What a waste.
What waste do you see happening around your home?
I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend. Please send me some tips on small house living, as I will start posting those tips on Mondays!