I probably should have called this post “Trouble in Paradise.” Buck and I call our hundred-acre wood Longleaf Preserve. We have a plaque certifying that this small patch of lovely ground is part of the Florida Forestry Stewardship Program, a program to encourage small land owners to preserve forested areas. For the past 7 years, containerized Longleaf seedlings have been hand-planted in a random pattern (as opposed to the more commercially viable straight rows) with an aim toward supplementing and recreating the old growth pine, mixed hardwood and wiregrass environment that was here 50 years ago. Click here to read more about Longleafs from the excellent Longleaf Alliance website.
I remember a few years ago, Buck and I were returning home from a trip to town, when he made a startling pronouncement. The main road to our house is straight for miles, then it makes three sharp “s” curves before passing by our gate. Buck was driving that day. He pointed out over the dashboard just at the place where the straight road makes its first curve. “Someday, the county is going to want a straight east-west corridor out here. They’re going to want to straighten this road, and when they do, it will cut our property in half, and we’ll have a road in the front yard.” I stared at him like he had lost his mind.
Some days it’s hard living with a prophet.
When the real estate market crashed, new home building and grand development plans stopped. But change agents switch gears in such times. Waivers, approvals, zoning changes, and stimulus money for building roads all flow in preparation for the next wave of “grand development.”