Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The big picture

We got the good news yesterday that the Baseline Report is finished for the Conservation Easement we are going to get on our property. We go to closing in June. We have been working on this with the Otsego Land Trust for over a year now. We think our land is worth saving, and they seem to agree.

Having a bald eagle nest right across the street from us probably helped to seal the deal!

The red outline on the map is the boundary of our land, which will be divided into Building Area, Open Space Area, and Natural Area. The green shaded part will be retained as natural perpetuity. This is a combination of woods and creek, with a smattering of old apple trees, probably the remains of an orchard from when this was all The Herkimer Farm. We are still exploring back there, with a little help from the dogs, and have found a wide variety of plants, birds, and other critters including deer, coyote, fox, skunk, porcupine, beaver, frogs, toads, turtles, and the ever unpopular groundhog of which we have WAY too many.

Neighbors say there are also bobcats (think I saw one), a mountain lion, bear, mink, weasel, fisher cat, and a wide variety of predators who would love to eat our chickens and ducks—some are already gone—but the little Jack Russell across the road has done more damage thus far than any of the mystery predators.

We also got the bad news yesterday that our neighbor in New Jersey wants to trim back the really old cedar trees on the edge of our property. While I understand her good intentions, I know from back in my Tree Commission days that old cedars are not easily pruned. The only way to get these trees to stop dropping stuff on her car in the driveway is to shear the whole one side. That would kill the trees which we would then have to remove altogether. The easy solution is to take out the trees, but it would cost a fortune and I really hate to see them go.

So we will do the best we can to work with the tree trimmers and simply pray they do not kill those beautiful trees. I don't want to be whipping my property into shape anymore, I want to enjoy it as is. I won that battle up here, but will probably lose that battle in NJ.

Signing off today as the Big Tree Hugger. Wish me well.

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