Thursday, August 05, 2004

Morning Ride

Every morning I take the same road to work. First, let me tell you that I grew up in a rural area - the Catskills in NY - and I do NOT like big cities, except, perhaps, to visit. I also love animals and birds. My husband and I are avid birders.

Anyway, now I live in a city. (My ex-husband moved me here.....nuff said) A city that used to be rural many years ago, and still has a few "country" looking areas left. What do I do? Try to find them in my living and driving areas, and make sure I choose THOSE routes rather than heavily travelled thouroughfares.

So.....every day I take the same road to work - it's a little connecting "back" road kind of thing, in an area that used to be all farms and horses and many acre homesteads. There are still some left, but they are disappearing rapidly.

On this little 2-mile-long road things are changing. There used to be a ranch style single story home raised up onto the second story
(a building technique used in places that flood a lot, like in the Keys). It was on several acres of brushy land, full of palm and other types of trees. There were always two barking hound dogs that chased along the front fence, and there were Egyptian geese that perched on the roof of the house, along with other assorted ducks - even some peacocks. The front of the house boasted a front porch with chairs to sit and watch life go by, and couple of semi-beat up pick ups parked on the grass to the side. It was lovely. It had been there for at least 40 years - that's my guess. All kinds of birds and wild parrots frequented the trees there.

One morning a couple of weeks ago, I saw the bulldozers. The dogs and the pickups were gone. A sign had been planted out by the road "Coming Soon!! Distinctive Estate Homes!!"

Crap. Another piece of the old, gentler times gone. I bet the problem was that the original owner didn't make much money, and couldn't make necessary improvements to the old house. But, since land prices here are going sky high - your house can be worth $10,000. more at the end of any given month - he was sitting on a gold mine - the ability to retire and live in a nice new house somewhere else. So he sold to the Evil AntiChrist Developers, tucked tail and ran. His neighbors across the street, still living on the same types of property and in older homes, are fingering their thin wallets, perhaps. Thinking, "gotta get outta here".

And so my little rural road, my little 2 mile long piece of "country" is rapidly diminishing, falling to the developers and their dull, cookie cutter, blow-down-at-the-first-big-wind, $500,000. homes - and the idiots that buy them and, unfortunately, inhabit them.

And with the new owners, come the new ideals. No trees, except palms. Lawns must be manicured and bushes well trained and trimmed. No room for birds or wildlife to hide.

And you know what is the saddest thing? The black capped parakeets and the pair of Pileated woodpeckers that I know lived there in the past, depending on the dead palm trunks for home and nest - they'll move too. To be replaced by the usual grackles and pidgeons.

I need to move to Montana, except I'm scared of the snow.


Blogger Some Cranky Guy said...

Don't worry cutie, I'll get ya out of this godforsaken place soon!

10:25 PM  

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