A new definition of homeland security

In the redwoods

There once was a Lass with a Tiny Home On Wheels (a converted shuttle bus) who needed a place to park her Home.

She lived happily amongst the redwoods…until the rain and the shade and the damp (and the very, very long drives to work) drove her inland, to drier climatic regimes and shorter commutes.

Upon reaching  Sonoma County, she found a spot in a tiny home community; one that defied all the usual stereotypes of places known as “mobile home parks.” Here be stunning hillside vistas! Full of native vegetation: oaks, madrones, manzanitas, buckeye! Wild critters! Spacious accommodations! A fishpond!  A pool!

Pool.jpg

And kindness. She found kindness. Folks who shared fruit from their trees, and lent a helping hand when you needed one (or two). She [re]discovered neighborliness, peace and quiet. She found sanctuary, with the most blessed security of knowing her Tiny Home (and she, and her puppy dog) had a Place.

New spot

 

**** deep sigh of relief ****

 

After indulging in a Jubilant Jig (a.k.a.Happy Dance), she got down to business. She installed her hummingbird feeder, set up her REI shelter, invested in outdoor lounge-around furnishings, planted a kitchen garden, acquired pollinator plants, donned her swimsuit, and dove (with gratitude and enthusiasm) into her New Life.

 

 

 

Peacocks! Squirrels! The dangers of introducing non-native species.

Once upon a time there was this peacock who came to Buddhaland…becoming a tourist attraction but wrecking havoc on the local ecosystem.

After studying about food webs, ecological balance, and invasive species, my students made a film about what happens when peacocks are introduced to Northern California.

During our last week of the AP Environmental Science class at the Developing Virtue High School (City of Ten Thousand Buddhas), we dreamed up a two minute tale – original chalk drawings!! great sound effects!!– and brought it to life.

Invasive species are now among the top three threats to biological diversity (the other two are climate change and habitat destruction). Just because we think a fish, a bird, or a plant is pretty doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to bring it home with us – many introduced species become invasive when they compete with natives for food, water, and shelter.

Do your part by learning the difference between native species (living beings who evolved and adapted to a specific place) and non-native species (beings who were introduced to a new location, and did not evolve to live harmoniously with the existing residents). Be respectful of wild species and wild places, and help keep our planet in balance.