Earth Day (Or It’s A Jungle Around Here)

adventure-blur-close-up-346885 (1)Monday was officially Earth Day but around the Hall House, every day is Earth Day.

Not so much because I’m recycling and saving the environment and such (though I do recycle and I’m all for cleaning up our rivers and lakes and oceans and air). But what I seem to be particularly good at is protecting our wildlife (though I didn’t exactly plan to be good at keeping all kinds of critters safe).

Here’s how you, too, can become good at protecting wildlife right where you live: create a natural habitat in your backyard!

So I should probably add that I didn’t so much as create the natural habitat as let it happen. And I suspect the Homeowners Association around here might not refer to my backyard (and honestly, it’s beginning to encroach upon the front yard) as a “natural habitat.” They might, in point of fact, call my yard an “eyesore” and other unmentionable words. But they’d have to be able to see my yard in all its natural jungle beauty and I keep a fairly solid fence in front so it’s all good.

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Why, yes. Yes, it is. That’s a (baby) possum on my deck.

The wildlife have a pretty big yard, as well as the green belt forest and a river behind the yard, where they can hang out and do whatever they want. But for some inexplicable reason, they find my deck and screen porch tantalizing. And so I regularly sweep snakes off the deck,  birds out of the screened porch, and the occasional possum away from the flowerpots. The deer insist upon jumping my back fence and lounging about my yard, sometimes strolling through the front yard and down the street.

I mean, this is some pretty emboldened wildlife around here. A few weeks ago, I opened the screen door to let Libs the Tiny Terror who delights in chasing down deer, possums, raccoons, and snakes, out for her morning constitutional. But there was an owl perched on the old swing set. We both froze. I hollered what I thought might shoo an owl away  like, “Scoot, Mr. Owl! Off you go, Mrs. Owl!” because how was I to know the gender of that owl? Mr. (or Mrs.) Owl did not move. Not even an inch. Just stared us down. I’m pretty sure he (or she) was licking her lips/beak, waiting for poor little Libs.

The point is, the wildlife is not just protected around here. It rules.

Don’t tell the neighbors.

(P.S. I wrote up an Earth Day writing post over at the Muffin. It’s not about recycling, though that’s a fine thing and I hope that you recycle waste as well as  words. It’s about something totally different so off you go! And yes, I know that didn’t work on the owl. I’m hoping for better results from you.)

Recycle Those Words! (And Happy Earth Day!)

2009-12-01 11.51.25So…I just took a quick walk around the Ecological Footprint Calculator and my goodness, what big (ecological) feet I have!

It’s an embarrassment of riches we have here, in the United States, and I’m afraid I haven’t been as good a steward of those riches as I should have. But it’s never too late to change, and I can work on reducing my ecological footprint. For one thing, I can improve on my recycling efforts.

It’s funny, because I’m very good at recycling my words. If an essay doesn’t work for the market I first submitted to, I try, try again to find a home for it. I may have to tweak the words a bit, but happily, I often find another market. I like the publication credit, of course, but I like not wasting my efforts even more.

So on this sunny Earth Day, I challenge you to recycle. Shake off the cyber dust from one of your essays, give it a spiffy shine, and submit it to a new market. And while you’re at it, get that plastic container out of the trash and into your recycling bin.

Now, see? You and the Earth feel better already. (And good luck!)