Global Warming Comes Home

I hesitate to call the back side of our property a backyard. The image doesn’t work. The backyards of my past were enclosed spaces with grass that needed to be mowed regularly by a gas-powered push mower.

This is a little piece and slice of paradise along the shores of the Big Lake, just down a dune. There is a thousand gallon pond with a waterfall on the east side containing goldfish that have lived in the pond from the beginning of the pond, ten years. The water is circulated with a pump requiring a miniscule amount of electricity.

The pond is surrounded along the back and sides by cedar, white pine and birch trees. Along the sides and front are various seasonal flowers and ferns.

On the west side of the property are ferns, red pines, white pines and Norway Spruce trees. There is an open space in the middle which is filling in with ground cover and flowers. It is called the Pine Grove.

None of this property needs to be mowed. Our front yard only requires cutting once a year because it is covered with dune grass.  Our property reflects the dune area in which it resides. A neighbor who has an immaculately manicured yard of what we have come to know as regular grass which is mowed twice a week by a landscaping company using riding mowers, once asked facetiously how our weeds were doing.

My wife and I love to sit around the pond. There are three sitting areas — two on the west side of the pond and one on the east side which is accessible along the east side and over a stone bridge from the west side.

We are now discouraged from sitting around the pond by the presence of mosquitoes — hordes and hordes, swarms upon swarms of mosquitoes. I wondered if it were just our property but found out that Southwest Michigan has become a mosquito haven.

I told an environmentally aware neighbor that we probably will all die of Malaria. He didn’t laugh.

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