April 19, 2009

Gone

Gone

Behind my parents’ backyard, bulldozers have knocking down trees and ripping up fields. Trucks roll in and out every day, bringing workers and materials to construct a big medical complex, complete with parking lots and a curving drive.

On Easter, when we went out for our usual walk after a big meal, we found ourselves climbing a pile of stones and dirt that rose taller than the highway. The old apple orchard is gone completely. The deer have disappeared as well, my father reports. He hasn’t seen any tracks or scat.

The familiar landscape – the apple trees I walked through on a June day 23 years ago when I was in labor with my daughter, the trails where I went cross-country skiing as a teenager, the meadows where Outdoor Girl and I used to horseback ride, the tangled vines and trees and hidden places where we played as children – has been transformed into a long expanse of mud.

In the mud

That's Dandelion Niece in the photo.

14 comments:

bsouth said...

I'm so sorry - that must be upsetting for you.

K said...

The rage stories like this engender in me finally isn't lessened by the excuses justifying them: It's not your land, a medical center isn't necessarily a bad thing, resistance to change is really a sublimated fear of death, etc. Sorry--I think the hottest circle of hell is reserved for real estate developers. They run roughshod over the sacred and we can't seem to stop the ruin they so callously spread.

the reverend mommy said...

=o(

paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. well, and a medical center, too.

ScienceWoman said...

This is so sad, especially because so many of us see this happening every day. You are fortunate to have had such a strong connection to that land - future generations will never get that opportunity.

AmpersandToo said...

*sigh*

liz said...

I wish that medical centers could be built without tearing down all the trees.

'Round here, we're pushing for more high-rise parking since flat parking lots have a bigger negative impact.

kathy a. said...

i hope the deer come back once all the excitement is over. the apple trees probably won't.

Arwen said...

Some day, the words "you can't stop progress" will refer to the removal of concrete in favor of allowing natural spaces to thrive.
I hope that day comes soon.

jaysonwithaY said...

Reading things like this immediately puts the image of a scoreboard in my mind. You know: Bulldozers vs. Deer. So I did a quick google to put some points up on the Deer side:
http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/animalsAndPlants/restoration-projects/small-habitat-restoration-program.aspx

I feel a little better now.

Rana said...

(o)

susanmtk said...

From John C. Sawhill, "In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy."

So sad to read about the destruction of this lovely place, when a building can so easily be constructed on the footprint of an older structure.

Jodie said...

It takes a lot longer to turn concrete blocks and paved parking lots into verdant fields and forests and apple orchards with birds and bugs and deer, than it takes to turn living nature into urban sprawl.

I like the John Sawhill quote. Next time you fly over Europe, think about.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

We saw this kind of thing happen in Bend for 10 years. Now that the economy is in free-fall -- as horrible as that is -- I'm glad to see all that construction equipment parked.

There are still deer here. I hope they come back for you too.

Arvind said...

That is so depressing!

There is some construction going on near the train station close to our apartment. Recently, as we were driving by my wife exclaimed "It's a park! They're building a park!!" I dropped her off and drove by again with excitement, only to find that it actually read "Park and Ride." My wife had not read the whole sign because it was partially blocked. The disappointment was overwhelming.