God never made an ugly landscape.

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“On a drive into Hereford I take the cross-country route, hoping to avoid the traffic bottleneck.  (Some hope.)  Despite the sparsity of population, I count at least five houses where the inhabitants have strimmed their roadside verge to within a centimetre of its life.  Internally I rail at the suburbanity of such an aesthetic (why move to the country if you want to turn it into Hyacinth Bucket’s Blossom Avenue?), and rather more honourably deplore the ecological holocaust.  Roadside verges are often remnants of ancient meadow – and in some areas, the only remnants of ancient meadow – and are flora rich, and the sanctuary of wild animals.”

From Meadowland: The Private Life of an English Field by John Lewis-Stempel

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Yes!  So many times I have railed against this same thing!  It’s not that I don’t think people have the right to do what they want with their own private property, it’s just that I am so mystified by it.  I don’t understand the thought process that causes someone to look for land in a rural area, pay a lot in order to live in a natural area, and then mow it all down flat and install a 3-acre ChemLawn.  It’s one thing when it gets mowed down and turned into gardens, fields, or pastureland.  Yet it seems suburban refugees come here to the rural areas and then go for the exact same sterile look.  It’s really a mystery.

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As for me, I’m in accord with John Muir…

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“God never made an ugly landscape. All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.”

-1897

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How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee; How great Thou art!
How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

All photos in this post copyright 2015 by Philip Thiry

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