When I moved to the San Luis Valley almost five years ago it was an open wild place with horses roaming as they had for the last 10,000 years.
Elk , deer and antelope once played plentiful on these lands. Now 5 years later I’m seeing unabated and devastating growth that is adversely altering the ancient path ways of Colorado wild life, forest and desert 🌵.
Open land is being fenced and scraped, creeks are being polluted and pumped to serve the illegal needs of many that have moved into the mountains with little resources and big dreams of becoming cannabis growers.
Trash upon trash fills the open lands, dumped over the years. Bed frames, car parts, poached elk, refrigerators, tires upon tires upon tires…
So what do we do as a community? As a people? As keepers of this planet ?
Do we quietly clean it up and say nothing, stewing with resentment or do we educate? Or eradicate the offenders?
Since taking out the human trash isn’t always an option, becoming aware of ones county codes and reporting the violations is one option, slow but effective.
The best way to end the cycle of environmental abuse is by taking folks out into the wilds and showing them the beauty and installing a sense of pride with in them.
Having a sense of ownership of the environment helps create visceral connections, joy, happiness and uplifts the spirits of those all present. By changing the way we see and feel about open land will benefit us all.
Fox, deer and human.
Colorado is one of the last bastions of wild frontier, and its being sold away parcel by parcel.
Currently Costilla county is working on building a wildlife corridor from the Sangre Di Christo Mountain ranges to the flats or “ant hills”. West of the Rio Grande.
It is spring in Southern Colorado, the mountain blue birds have returned with their wives, the Crow murders are flying East to their spring nests in the high Meadowlands , the elk have come down the mountain to nibble the grasses coming up against the lingering snow and frost.
We’ve started adding the winters manure from the horse paddock to all the deep beds, cleared the coops of all the straw and replaced it with pine shavings.
All of the winters livestock bedding is mixed into the deep beds. The chickens are then released into the beds to help churn up the medium, eat any critters that may have moved in (from tasty red worms to large creepy grubs) over winter. While they are working and turning the soil the birds are also leaving behind amazing little gold nuggets in the form of chicken turds.
Once the soil has been turned by the flock, the beds are soaked with water and covered with black tarps to Solarize them.
Solarization helps speed up the composting system, kills bacteria and unwanted sprouts.
An old timer is keeping up the torch on sustainable, earth friendly farming by opening up his vast personal library to others.
He’s been farming organically since the 70s and has watched it all change. Creator of Friends of Trees, master arborist and farmer.
Sounds around the barn yard. This is Edger my Brahman Rooster announcing breakfast. He always lets them eat first after first checking it out for quality control.
The average cost for organic pasture- raised- free-range dozen chicken eggs are 4.99-12.99$ Nationally.
It is a real surprise when you start looking through your grocery stores egg selection. You have everything from a 36 pack of full factory chicken eggs at 2.99$ yes it’s cheap, it’s even subsidized by the US department of AG.
Eggs aren’t cheap, at least good eggs aren’t.
Most store eggs are over 30 days old and have trekked hundreds if not thousands of miles to reach your shelf. Those eggs, come from sad chickens. Very… sad. No day light, no room to stretch, peck or dirt bathe.
And you are consuming those very same stress hormones that little hen is dropping every day.
What the cluck can you do about it? Shop locally, get to know your neighbors and farms.
Understanding PTSD in humans has been a field of study for over 50 years. It was once called “shell shock” or “trench syndrome”.
Now the same thing that plagued my grandfather and myself is being understood through healing horses.
Horses have the ability to heal humans, dogs anything with emotional trauma. Bring in their larger than life aura field is an amazing feeling. You can feel the calm radiating over ones body.
The pride and calm that comes from these beast transfers to the human, creating an embolus loop of spiritual and physical healing.
But what happens when the healer needs to be healed? Understanding the condition of fear is step one. As we as humans, come to help the equid; we’ve come to learn how to help ourselves through them.
Equids are prey animals. They have large eyes set in the side of their heads, long legs to move them over land quickly and efficiently.
Humans are predators.
We are upright, we use tools and we can can run for extended periods of time, wearing down our prey by chase. Our eyes are set forward, we have canines and independent digits on our hands. We can use tools and FIRE!
But somewhere along the way, the heavy breathing up right “human” made a long lasting companionship with the wolf, and the HORSE.
How does a predator and prey come to rely on each other? What could we possibly benefit from associating with a four legged tump roast?
Speed. Distance. Logistics.
The horse gave us freedom. Some will argue that the horse has only been part of our modern world for 10,000 yrs. I disagree. (That’s an entire blog on its own)
The relationship we have grown with the equids goes back much further than we as modern man are ready to admit.
But what happens when the horse and human enter the modern world? Our minds and bodies must adapt to a world we were once the masters, and queens of. Now, we are the serfs to technology.
War, poverty and the human condition spreads past the ghetto or big box grocery. It’s extending back to the source of our sanity, and destroying it.
Understanding where conditioned fears originates is how we as a species can come around, save ourselves and our planet.
Healing does not end with one, it leaps like a frog from one pad to the next.
Once and a while you have to leave the valley.