During the second week of July, I planted a handful of New England pie pumpkin seeds. Realizing this was almost too late in the year, my hopes were not high for these plants. The five vines did well at first but powdery mildew eventually set in and I couldn’t keep up with fighting it. These two pumpkins were the only ones to make it to harvest.
On this summer solstice, I’m reflecting on all the wildlife that lives in and around our small patch of earth in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. I’ve been amazed by how many species live with us—or do we live with them?
Below is a list of creatures I’ve observed over two years. These are just from memory and are animals I could identify. There have been many other unidentified insects.
Red fox (1)
Great blue heron (1)
Turkey vulture (1)
Common house spiders
Praying mantis (1)
Red milkweed beetles
A few days ago, I finished reading Aldo Leopold’s groundbreaking, award-winning A Sand County Almanac, first published in 1949. Leopold is widely considered to be the father of the modern conservation movement. For anyone with a short attention span, the book can be summarized by the following quotation from the foreword:
We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
On this Earth Day, take a walk in nature, even your own back yard, and observe the teeming ecosystem around you. It is the community to which you belong.