One of EJ’s favorite movies is O, Brother, Where Art Thou? It’s about a guy (George Clooney) who escapes from a chain gang when he hears that his ex-wife is planning to get remarried. He finds his children singing at a political fundraiser and they tell him that their Mom’s new suitor is “bona fide,” which means authentic, genuine, real, true, actual. It’s a cute movie with some great singing in it.
Well, I am feeling bona fide today because our property has been certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a wildlife habitat. It’s easy to get certified. You just go to their website, fill out a questionnaire about your property, and pay a small fee. It’s not like they come and do an intense home study or anything. Still, I feel very proud of our certification. I figure we have earned it because EJ and I really do make an effort to provide good habitat for the wildlife on our property. We aren’t extreme like some environmentalists are, but we do believe that God gave us stewardship over the planet and it is our responsibility to care for the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).
I received a certificate a few weeks ago (pictured at the top of this post), and today my sign arrived in the mail. I will put the sign up on our property this weekend as soon as I decide where I want it. It will let visitors know that we make a conscious effort to provide habitat for wildlife.
I think it’s rather funny that when EJ first visited this property with our realtor, the realtor didn’t think it would be suitable because most of it is forested hills and gullies. It isn’t a property that can be easily cultivated. However, our property really is everything we longed for: We have just enough land for a small garden for our needs, it is quiet and peaceful, it is beautiful, and it has wildness that provides good habitat for wildlife–and we work to keep it that way.
Yesterday at Facebook, I came across a meme on my timeline that said that in Japan, doctors would prescribe “Forest therapy” to treat depression and anxiety. The scent of the trees increases activity of the natural killer cells that enhances your immune system which boosts resistance against stress.” We have always consider our beautiful enchanted forest to be “Forest therapy.” As introverts, EJ and I need quiet, nature, and animals to refresh us. Without these things, our spirits wither. The forest is therapeutic for us.
I like this quote by Albert Einstein:
There are two ways to live:
you can live as if nothing is a miracle;
you can live as if everything is a miracle.
EJ and I choose to live as if everything is a miracle. We enjoy the beauty of wildflowers, we appreciate the artistry in a spiderweb (in spite of the fact that I hate spiders), we pause to watch geese fly overhead, and so on. One of my favorite poems is by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She sums up our view of nature:
We totally love our beautiful Enchanted Forest.
And now we are bona fide.
How delightful TJ, our little plot of land has been a treasure to us over the yrs. hard to believe we have been here for 45 yrs. Keep enjoying the season and one another, say hi to EJ.
I’m glad you have been able to enjoy your slice of heaven for so many years! ❤
Our love to you and Bob!
This is a really nice post TJ. I, too, did the certification years ago, though you would not know it now as I lost so many plants and flowers after Polar Vortex #1 and then the neighbor behind left his dog out 24/7 and we got rats. I had to quit feeding and watering the birds, but I think mine was $25.00 or $15.00 and it was a metal plaque which I had fastened onto the fence. I had a butterfly garden at the time so I had butterfly houses, puddling dishes for them to sip water from (you take a low dish and put sand in, then wet the sand so they can drink) and flat stones for the butterflies to sun themselves on. I had flowers that encouraged butterflies and bees and fed the birds and watered them. I will see if I have a picture of my plaque anymore. It is a good feeling to know you are doing good for nature – the world needs more people who care about Mother Earth.
Your garden was awesome–except for the Polar Vortex, dog, and rats. It’s really enjoyable landscaping property to help the wildlife. The butterfly puddling dishes sound awesome. EJ and I might put some out.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I have to find that plaque – mine was very simple, just green and white as I recall. I was excited as well to hang it out. The butterfly houses looked like birdhouses with narrow slits and I never saw any butterflies go in there to get away from predators or on a cool day, but they looked nice in the garden.
The puddling dishes were nice … just get clay pot dishes and fill with sand, and you are always watering plants or filling water buckets for the poultry or swimming pools for the ducks, so you have the hose handy. Just wet it down and they will come and take dainty sips. The butterflies will be around your milkweed anyway.
LikeLiked by 1 person