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The Summer of Orb Weavers

This summer I had the opportunity to experience the benefits of a re-vitalized ecosystem with many songbirds, pollinators, butterflies and other beneficial insects returning to my own backyard.  I had the awesome moment of witnessing the emergence of a beautiful swallowtail butterfly from its chrysalis just because I left a section of my yard unmowed. 
I saw the return of numerous  orb weaver spiders  which I've found to be the only predators of the destructive Japanese beetle.  Orb weavers are a sure sign of the revitalization of the landscape and their arrival is one I look forward to, not despise, because I know the land is healing and balance is being restored.  I also got to listen to the  Choir of the Crickets  once again, something I usually just hear while camping or at the lake.  They are no doubt, bringing a higher vibration to the land.
Though my yard may look unruly to the meticulously groomed, pesticide ridden yards of many neighboring properties in my suburban area, I know that restoring ecology to my own backyard is not only good for the environment, but also for my own health and that of my child, as well as our pets and the overall community.  A great book I read many years ago on this topic is Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards.  Although this book was written in the 90's, Sara Stein was well ahead of her time in recognizing that the gardening and landscaping methods we had grown accustomed to and come to accept as 'normal' in our society are actually destroying our environment and cannot be sustained indefinitely.  That is, if we want to have a healthy future for our children and this planet to survive. 
While I love the philosophy and information within this book, I will say however, that I do take exception to the author's use of the Monsanto herbicide Round-up and the burning of fields to eliminate unwanted plants.  I don't agree with using any chemical in the garden including the 'seemingly harmless' glyphosates which have since been proven to be the contrary.  Nor do I feel it is necessary to burn a landscape in order to place what you want in a meadow.   I also don't believe it's necessary to only use native plants in your landscape.  There are many, many medicinal/healing advantages to having exotic and naturalized plants in your landscape, so eliminating one for the sake of the other is not in my opinion, the answer.  Finding a balance between both worlds is.  If a plant is growing wild in your yard, there's a reason that usually only Nature knows and plants follow people when they are needed.
Being different is not always easy, however.  One weekend I witnessed one of my neighbors discussing my property with a guest at his backyard party.  I was mowing the lawn and wanted to go right over to him and tell him what I knew and how I felt.  Not only had this more recent development of homes pushed all the water from the previously existing wetland onto my property, but also the subsequent common use of pesticides from these homeowners had contributed to making the soil into an unhealthy, unproductive hard pan which reaked of decay when I first moved there over 2 years ago. 
I wanted to say all of these things, but I didn't because I knew it would only insight anger and increase tensions between us.  Instead, I chose to continue with my mowing and I write about my experiences here on this blog, in hopes that eventually people will wake up and realize that what they are doing is so contrary to the well being of this planet and the very health of humanity and all life.  I know I've said this before, but I will continue saying it until I see the last of the yellow signs in my neighborhood and community because it continues to amaze me how many people are still unaware.  Last night as I took a run through this neighborhood, I could just smell all the pesticide residues from the yellow signed properties, definitely not a healthy place to take a walk or be running, let alone allow a child to play.
Of great concern is also the activities that recently took place in cities like Dallas, TX and New York City, as well as states like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania with aerial spraying of pesticides to combat the West Nile Virus.  I believe many were unaware of these municipal sprayings as they were done during early morning hours and others expressed little or no concern to this activity which not only harms useful pollinators, but also animals and humans. Which town or city will be next?  What is truly needed is for the restoration of healthy landscapes which support beneficial insect predators and other forms of wildlife which create balance.  An excess of any type of insect is a sure sign of imbalance and spraying chemical pesticides will not resolve the problem, only create more imbalance and disease.
This excessive need to control our natural environment I believe stems from very deep rooted emotional issues and imbalances in our society and our ancestral DNA that need to be overcome and healed.  Attempting to control something so powerful as Nature is a wasted effort and so not in alignment with the way life should be.  Please give even just a little bit of space to Nature by allowing her to do what she does best. Choose to live gracefully and in awe and respect of Nature, and then she will bring you bountiful blessings beyond what you can imagine. 
Blessings of Awareness!
2012 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.

12 Comments to The Summer of Orb Weavers:

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Ron Laswell on Sunday, September 9, 2012 12:51 PM
I don't consider myself a "religious" person, but to borrow an analogy, I think you might be "preaching to the choir". Totally agree about the Round-Up (doesn't Monsanto make that?). Years ago, I new a young woman who had received a degree in environmental sciences. A bunch of us "long-haired, socialists" were tauting the benefits of being organic one day. She defended Round-Up, and to prove her point, she even ingested a teaspoon of the liquid!!! Amazingly, she is still alive. I, too, don't understand why people are not "waking-up" to what is happening in their lives and the world around them. Because of the drought conditions, a friend of mine who has a farm was telling me that corn-feed just this last week went from $8/50# up to $13/50#. I would think that people would somehow realize that eventually we are going to have to clean-up all the pollution (pesticides and fertilizers) that are being put into the environment.
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Clarissa on Sunday, September 9, 2012 1:43 PM
Ron, I know you know this stuff but my articles reach a wide variety of audiences throughout the world and so, sometimes I have to repeat myself or discuss topics that many already are aware of. Nevertheless, as you mentioned there are yet still so many people in this world unaware of how important our immediate environment is and how we all can contribute, individually, to the healing of this planet.
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Pamela Jambeck on Sunday, September 9, 2012 6:54 PM
Clarissa. This was a wonderful piece! More people need to know that bringing back our natural environments is so healthy for our land! I, too, have gone natural in my ditches, have a bit of naturally treated lawn, and am surrounded by beautiful hostas, spring bulbs, lilacs, forsythia, dogwood, cedars, succulants(the planteds by me/friend) and those are all surrounded by naturally growing grasses, etc. I had a huge section of my hillside, leading to a river, slide several years ago. The soil and water people had me return it to it's native grasses, trees and plants. (It was already natural, but they didn't want me to "landscape" it the way some may wish to do!) It's come back to it's natural state with additional things the birds have "planted"...including thistle and other crazy "weeds." It's lovely and wild...I even had some black eyed susan flowers appear this summer. Bottle gentian (a favorite) were planted...but I don't walk on the hillside, so don't know if they came back! Sorry this is so long...but I did want to share how important I think this way of living with nature is....and that there are others doing so. The Earth will thank us!! Here's to "our land of wild beauty!"
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Clarissa on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 10:59 AM
Thanks for sharing your own experiences of restoring your landscape, Pam. I really love to hear stories like this. It truly is so important that each of us do our share and restore balance within our own environment. This also connects the dots for all the migrating animals so they have supportive environments to rest while on their journey. Sometimes we underestimate how much impact small changes can have for the good of all.
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Paola on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 4:33 PM
Thank you for this piece! I have to say I am with Ron in feeling the disparity/inconsistency with people's ideas about the environment. Many of us take a quantum/vibrational approach to the environment, where we are sensitive toward chemicals or things of 'lower vibrational' levels affecting our land. And there are those that are left out of this non-supersensory world. Recently ACRES published an article about quantum agriculture, and workshops being held in Georgia and Australia by an Australian couple. Their work is primarily in biodynamics but at the same time I was happy to see that they are reaching farmers in Georgia and other interested parties.
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Clarissa on Saturday, September 22, 2012 11:15 AM
Thanks for your comments Paola! I think it's really exciting that they're doing biodynamics workshops for the farmers. The whole structure of farming needs to change, as well as what we as individuals do with our landscapes. It's a huge process that will take time, but I really don't think we have a choice anymore. Time is running out...
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Lisa on Monday, September 24, 2012 8:30 PM
Years ago, I took one of your medicinal garden classes. Remember sipping tansy tea on a summer day as we toured the various gardens at your previous home. I was impressed with the care and thought you put into every addition, and started to think about what it meant to be a steward of the land. Now I'm excited to be moving into a new home with a "bare" lawn, just waiting for remediation and transformation into a permaculture garden, adding a bog and graywater system, and applying some of the techniques and higher ways of thinking that I learned from you. So, Clarissa, keep up the good work! Lisa
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Clarissa on Saturday, October 6, 2012 10:17 AM
Lisa, it's so nice to hear from you and know that my workshop had such an impact on the way you view gardening and Nature. Although it can be overwhelming and frustrating at times, to heal a landscape and see/feel the transformation can be awesome. As we heal the land, we heal ourselves...

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Clarissa on Monday, April 15, 2013 9:47 AM
Thank you so much for taking the time to post your comments. I'm really happy to hear that this information has been helpful to you. It's an interesting thing about writing blogs, you do never really know how people have been affected by what you write. I truly hope that in time a better relationship with the Earth can evolve for all of us. Our survival depends upon it...

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