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Old 07-22-2010, 08:36 PM   #21
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The challenging part is how do we get more people to view landscaping through nature's eye. Most of the members here at Wildlife Gardeners understand the benefits of viewing a landscape through nature's eye, but how do we get more people to appreciate that view?
Nature's view implies nature's creatures. I've been listening to conversations this summer. Some of the reactions of my acquaintances to nature's creatures:
snakes - EWWW
snapping turtle - get it out of my pond, just do it
ticks - do you know how much I hate those things?
ground hog - I don't care what it takes, I want to get rid of it
moles - they're making a mess of my front yard, and they ate my (whatever)

We (the people of the Americas) have spent four centuries "taming the wilderness". I can't imagine that mindset being reversed without a major environmental crisis.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:49 PM   #22
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Those are conditioned replies. They can become permanently engrained in some.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:20 PM   #23
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We need to work on the next generation to prevent them from being conditioned. I visit local schools with my son's snakes to try and deflect that "Eww!" response, which seems to begin in middle school, and is definitely learned from peer pressure. Even my daughter, the ultimate nature girl, who picks up any creature without pause (it worries me sometimes!), went through a phase for about three months in seventh grade of going "Eww!" to spiders before going back to rescuing them from her friends and taking them outside. Anything to fit in with the peer group.

The question is how do we change all of the town ordinances, HOA regulations, etc etc that insist upon mowed lawns and formal, sterile landscapes? Send copies of "Bringing Nature Home" to all of the town council members and their ilk?
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:19 PM   #24
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Deflecting the "eww factor" is a good game plan. It works for seniors too. For what it's worth.... most senior centers are always looking for "free" speakers on all kinds of topics.
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:06 PM   #25
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I never thought about senior centers. Good idea. Can I ask how you became "Official veggie killer"?
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:15 PM   #26
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"I have yet to read Bringing Nature Home." Bad boy Bad boy.... whatch gonna do when they come for you... Bad boy Bad boy. I can send you my new copy to borrow if you want to go for it now.... without the hammock out yet.

You are very kind to offer, Equilibrium, but I thought I should check out the library first. Meant to do that the other day, but the in service at work went longer than expected.

BTW, I finally got my hammock up three days ago!
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:44 AM   #27
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"Can I ask how you became "Official veggie killer"?"..... sure you can ask.... ha.... I don't know exactly how it happened. One day I was a land steward for post count and the next day I was an Official Veggie Killer. I think they just do these things. There was a Puff the Magic Dragon running around for a while too and suunto turned into a Bug Whisperer the same day I turned into an Official Veggie Killer. BTW.... I have bad luck with veggies.... I screw around with them too much experimenting and then I've got this habit of taking off and they don't get watered when I'm gone and then there's this man living with me they call a husband who has a weed whacker whose not afraid to use it and.... don't let me forget to toss in the bambis and thumpers. They do a number on my veggies too. If it can go wrong with me growing veggies.... it does. dapjwy> go get your book or be doomed to have the "COPS" jingle in your head forever.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:42 AM   #28
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dapjwy> go get your book or be doomed to have the "COPS" jingle in your head forever.
LOL! I'm sure it would get annoying, but it is a catchy tune.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:00 AM   #29
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Last week, after reading this post, I was thinking about it while walking. Somehow, I started thinking about the story "Why Christmas Trees are not Perfect". I haven't heard that or read it in years, maybe just one year as a teen, but it stuck with me.

For those who are not familiar with it, it goes something like this: All of the Christmas trees yearned for the honor of being chosen by the queen to be (chopped down--not sure that part makes sense) the palace Christmas tree. As young trees, the Elders tell them how to hold their branches high up off the ground and grow them as tightly and symmetrically as they can. (The story is much more poetic than my summary.)

Anyway, one young tree grew best of all and all knew he would be chosen for that special honor. One cold winter night, a rabbit ran frantically looking to find a place to hide from a pursuing dog. That tree took pity on the rabbit and lowered a branch to the ground so he could hide. Later he was unable to raise the branch back up. Another bitterly cold day, he opened a gap in his tightly held branches to provide shelter for a freezing bird. He took pity on other woodland animals as well.

The day the queen came to choose the tree, she was angered to see such an unkempt tree in her royal forest. She ordered her servants to chop it down and burn it. Then, seeing the tracks of the animals, a bird feather and such, she realized the beauty in what the tree had done and chose it to be what turned out to be the most beautiful Christmas tree the palace had seen.

Anyway, I was wondering if we could use this technique to promote native landscapes and let people see the 'ugliness' of perfectly manicured lawns and shrubs.

It took me a week to finally post about it. So, does anyone feel comfortable enough with their writing skills to create our own version?
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:03 AM   #30
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What a lovely story, David! I have never heard that one before. Thanks for sharing! I think your writing skills are perfect for creating a WG version!
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