Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mother Nature: Her Last Stand in Silicon Valley (Part 2)

     Here we are, updating what has proven to be perhaps my most widely read article. Where we left off one year ago, my roommate and I had been forced into moving from this little enclave of ecological pastoralism to a smaller by a hundredth part apartment, on the opposite side of town. We were under the impression that work on the project (a co-housing development) would begin within weeks.
     Just three days ago it came to our attention that the developers have finally moved to begin work- one year later AND just two years- to the day- of the death of the man most responsible for renovating the old farmhouse and keeping it in a condition- such that it, as a historical landmark- would be considered for salvage, while all the other tree-butchery and the like went forward. Our friend Kurt Keiffer.
     All of the trees but two have been tagged for either removal or destruction. They recognize the market value of olive trees- at least, those will find new homes. But the large live oaks, the carob tree, the many pines and black walnuts- having outlived, apparently their aesthetic use for humanity- will soon meet the chainsaw. The large acreage will then be applied bulldozer and backhoe and work will begin creating the vast underground parking complex. The house will be removed- after they are done tearing off the kitchen, back porch, and half the attic- and set on the lot at another angle, so that the back door will now become the front door, and set upon new foundations.
     While we are happy we found new quarters "in time" it has been a lot longer than the excuse claimed by the developers as the cause of our own relocation. And like much of the Midpeninsula, another wild space- home to hundreds of birds and other creatures- now falls to the fell greed of the hand of Man.

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