Saturday, January 06, 2007

Such wild love

I mentioned yesterday that the builders next door scraped the land flat and bare before construction, all seven acres. Dunes, ridges, plants and animals. Not a twig left standing.

An early site manager, Terry, was a plant lover, and he rescued some wild orchids which have found sanctuary on our side of the line. As the bulldozer did its dirty work, we briefly had a marvelous influx of refugees: geckoes, frogs, snakes, hummingbirds, bat moths. It was not a population that could sustain itself. They are all gone now.

Presumably when construction is finished, the new owners will spend several more millions of dollars on landscaping. But they will face the same problems we all do: bur grass and love vine, scorpions and spiders. Their solution, I'm guessing, will be massive applications of pesticides, as in other projects of this sort. And so it goes.

The time has passed when we could listened at night to the mournful cries of feral peacocks. The indigenous Bahamian boa is on the way to extinction -- you won't see one on our land again. Yes, I know, my own ecological footprint is larger than it needs to be. But we left our plot pretty much as we found it, and didn't use bulldozers and chemicals against the creatures. My most formidable garden tool is a rusty machete.