Greenacres: Landscaping with Native Plants | Great Lakes | US EPA

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to plan in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.” -John Muir

I want to make an ALDO LEOPOLD BENCH to place on a rock overlooking the waterhole at our Tsavene House….

and another of these special benches to tuck into the trees on the edge of the woodland surrounding Chilo Gorge Lodge, (which we are renovating), so that bird watching can be fully indulged in….

To spy a Leopold bench in someone’s yard is to know something about the family who there resides. Even if you haven’t read Leopold’s opening lines, “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot,” from A Sand County Almanac, you will appreciate this easy-to-build bench. If left untreated, this stable bench develops a characteristic gray patina, however, putting some preservative where bench meets ground will prolong its life. Its form, resting alone under a tree or in congregation around a firepit, reminds us of Leopold’s thoughtfulness:

“When some remote ancestor of ours invented the shovel, he became a giver: He could plant a tree. And when the axe was invented, he became a taker: He could chop it down. Whoever owns land has thus assumed, whether he knows it or not, the divine functions of creating and destroying plants.”

“The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, ‘What good is it?’ If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.”

Materials: One 2x6x33″, one 2x10x30″, one 2x8x10′, six 3/8″x 31/2″ carriage bolts with washer and nut, twelve 3/8″ x 31/2″ #12 or #14 flathead wood screws. Use Douglas Fir for your Leopold bench, if you can, and customize its size to suit you. The materials listed will make a 33″ bench, but you may choose to build out to 48″.

Tip: You may want to purchase extra supplies because someone is going to ask you to build them one when they see yours!

via Greenacres: Landscaping with Native Plants | Great Lakes | US EPA.

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About wineandwilddogs

Lin Barrie The Save Valley Conservancy stretches along the upper reaches of the great Save River in the south east of Zimbabwe. The Gonarezhou National Park laps against the southern banks of the Save River and between these two nestles the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These three celebrated wildlife areas form part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, (GLTFCA)- a unique wilderness jewel which is home to the “Big Five” (endangered Black and White rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lion, leopard) and the ”Little Six” (Klipspringer, Suni, Duiker, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok and Oribi). Endangered African wild dogs, Cheetah, Brown hyena, Bat-eared foxes and a host of special birds and plants contribute to the immense variety of this ecosystem. Communities around the GLTFCA contribute to innovative partnerships with National Parks and the private sector, forming a sound base on which to manage social, economic and environmental issues. This is home to artist and writer Lin Barrie and her life partner, conservationist Clive Stockil. Expressing her hopes, fears and love for this special ecosystem with oil paints on canvas, Lin Barrie believes that the essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct observation. Lin Barrie states: “Through my art, and my writing, I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and from my extensive field sketches of wild animals, people and landscapes, I create larger works on canvas. Lin's work is in various public and private collections in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, England, Canada, Sweden and the United States of America. She is represented by galleries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Kenya and Florida, USA.
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