Lebanon Reporter

Columns

January 16, 2014

Ramblings about winter weather, urban sprawl and more

(Continued)

Often, I have wished that I had been able to hold onto the land that my great-grandparents had settled on in the 1800s. Along with the help of nature, I would have attempted to turn those once fertile fields of corn and soybeans into a heavily-wooded forest, which would eventually allow more wildlife to populate the land. I find it nearly unbearable to drive through Hamilton County and see just how much land has been taken over by less than beautifully designed housing and city-slicker landscaping. Lonesome country roads have been turned into four-lane parkways with European style roundabouts dotting the once ghost town-like intersections. I have reason to believe that our own rural settlement will one day resemble our neighboring county. Oh how sad it will be, when we exit the once familiar era of small towns where everyone knows their neighbor.

Do we really wish to create a metropolis that will replace close-knit communities with drugstores, banks and supermarkets on every street corner? Must we sacrifice our beautifully-landscaped yards, peaceful parks and small schools for fiscal growth and a chance to have a bigger black dot on our state map representing our expanding community? What’s next, will Turkey Run State Park become the Central Park of Indiana, surrounded by expensive high-rise suites and ever rising crime rates? I for one will not stand by and watch our little corner of paradise turn into the city of Fishers in Hamilton County. If we lose the battle to keep Boone County small, I think that I, along with my wife, dog and pet bird will have to hitch a ride on the next wagon train west.I love to observe our populations of deer, coyote, raccoon, turkey and birds as they inhabit and move about our county. I’ve, on occasion, even witnessed a wolf proudly surveying his surroundings. One can only hope that the majestic black bear will once again populate our state. With the way some city slickers carry on about coyotes, can you imagine what they would say about a bear rummaging through their garbage cans?There is nothing more eerie sounding or beautiful than the sound of a redheaded woodpecker echoing throughout the woodlands in search of insects hidden beneath tree bark. By keeping our eyes towards the ground, we could easily miss a pair of eagles soaring high overhead. What a true love story this bird creates as it stays with its mate for life, never leaving the other’s side “until death do they part.” Oh, couldn’t many of us learn something from those amazing predators of the skies?I’m not much of a supporter of ‘possums, but one time I saw several hanging by their tails from a tree along the side of a country road. I must admit that it was a rather unique sight that I’m glad I didn’t miss seeing. I’d much rather have a bear in my garbage though, than a dirty, over-sized rat, which a ‘possum resembles.

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