Unlike most folks, I adore moles. I would not have a garden if my mole weren't out there tilling the soil all hours of the day and night. Today is a sad day for me, because I just found a dead mole on the pathway. It makes me sad. I buried him in the earth he loves.
The rains have returned! I am back out in the yard digging. I am making a manure pit and covering it with soil so the neighbors don't complain. As I dig in the dirt, I am struct again, by the complete lack of life there. No worms. No beetles. No insect bodies of any kind, the soil hotel is vacant, apparently closed for business. We have several ancient apple trees left over from the haydays of a previous orchard. Countless apples on the ground and no fruit flies. No larva crawling from inside. No bees swarming them. Same with my bazillion tomatoes that are rotting on the vine. Mold, but no bugs. Last night, I watched the sky. I saw one dragon fly and two other types of fliers, but that was it. What are the bats going to eat?
This summer, I bought two Peach trees. They were diseased. I knew they were, but heck, I've made plants health in the past, and they were only five bucks, going to a good cause. They are healthier, but still, not in the free and clear. A smart person would put them on the burn pile, or take them to the refuse to be composted. I'm planting them in my yard today. If they make it, great! If they become bug infested, even better! I am desperate for life. At this point, even "bad" bugs look good to me.
My husband likes to remind me that I am very spoiled when I complain about petty things. So, yeah, I'm spoiled.
We rent. We have no control over when/how the mower dude mows. We are working really hard to get the soil back into shape after decades of mismanagement/neglect/abuse. This time of year, the lawn has gone dormant. There is nothing to mow. So, he mows the dirt and raises up dust clouds. I get that he needs to make a living, but he's doing more harm than good. I wish I could make him stop.
Every time I read a post where someone whines about a bug, I am saddened. Sure, it can be frustrating to have bugs on plants you'd rather be left alone, but birds eat bugs, and without bugs, we'd have no birds. The world would be lifeless without bugs. When we first came to this nightmare of a yard, it was riddled with disease. There were no bugs in the soil, which is a very bad thing indeed. However, the ancient, dying apple trees were crawling with insects, horrifyingly so. I remember sitting at the window wondering, what on earth could I do to save the trees? They were destined to die, and soon. As I was lamenting, a huge flock of tiny birds descended upon the tree and in about fifteen minutes, every last insect was gone. They flew off, but they came back the next day and cleaned the next tree. They came back each day until all the trees were bug free. I thought, thank you, I am so glad I had bugs you could eat. We have worked really hard to improve the soil and to increase the habitat for the birds. Every year, the birds come back and every year, there is more food in the yard, so they stay longer. While there are some bugs I cringe to see (I am not a fan of stink bugs,) I leave them for the birds to dine on.
When we were kids, our neighbor's tree was engulfed with tent moths. They "did" something about it. I had often wished the moths had come to our yard, not theirs. What we would have "done" would have been to watch the caterpillars hatch and to watch all the birds come to eat them. I will never understand the obsession of others to poison the food of the birds.
I have several friends who operate Rabbit Rescue Missions. They are up to their eyeballs in rabbit manure. I am the lucky recipient of this by product. There are a number of benefits to rabbit manure, but the one I am here to praise today is the transportation of said poop. My friends put it in large trash bags (it is mixed with straw, sawdust, etc.) Whenever I drive around town with the back of my truck loaded with rabbit poop bags, the other cars give me a very wide berth. They lag behind me a long distance. They hesitate to pass me. You would think I was a cop car! If they do pass me, they don't get over into my lane until they are several car lengths ahead. I own the road when I transport poop! It is so nice to be respected! :-)