Monday, June 3, 2013

Home on our range

photo of flock of turkeys
© harrington
Welcome. Thanks for visiting. This is part of the flock of toms (mature male turkeys) and jakes (juvenile male turkeys) that strolled through the back yard yesterday. Out of sight on the left is a whitetail doe that also was wondering around during the mid-afternoon. I suspect that even critters that spend all of their time out-of-doors may have felt overdue for a chance to enjoy some sunshine, so they ignored their usual dawn and dusk routine. At some point over then next few weeks, I expect to see flocks of hens and poults scurrying along the same general path as the toms and jakes, and I hope they consume every tick on the place. Come autumn, they'll be looking for an acorn crop from the oaks you can see in the background. I read yesterday that buckthorn, because of the toxins in its roots, weakens or suppresses the growth of nearby plants. Our efforts to reduce the local buckthorn population has more benefits than we realized. I'm sure you know that deer have a home rage of about a mile square. Turkeys are said to use about half that to 3 times as much. How big is your home range? Could you travel all of it on foot? Speaking of foots, do you know how big your ecological footprint is? Your home range and your ecological footprint aren't the same thing. Think about all those suburban lawns that don't grow anything productive, but do require lots of mowing (gas consumption) and pesticides. What kind of better party could we throw if we found more productive uses for the land we've already developed. Minnesota has lots of natural beauty we talk about enjoying and protecting. Turning prairie and savannahs and north woods into kentucky bluegrass lawns, even a little bit, doesn't seem to me like a "best and highest use" of property. What do you think would be better uses for our Minnesota's land and lakes and rivers? Thanks for listening. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily.