David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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More About Fences

 

I have written about fences before. I’m on record as disliking them, unless they’re absolutely necessary, to contain livestock, for instance. I don’t dislike wood fences nearly as much as I dislike wire. Wire fences bother me. Several years ago I wrote a column for another publication in which I mentioned Harry Bath’s house on Big Owl Road, with its chain-link fence, lawn and rain birds and wondered why anyone would  construct such a thing in the middle of a pine forest. It turned out he just liked lawns. And in 1989 I wrote in the WIND about fences in general.

The other day I was driving down Big Owl Road when I suddenly found myself frightening a full grown doe. She was between me and another fence. This one was constructed a few years ago, ostensibly to keep horses and dogs in, rather than to keep wildlife out. It is really three fences: wood and two kinds of steel mesh, and it presents a formidable barrier. The doe tried to escape through it, dashing herself against it twice and then a third time. So I stopped and she moved around behind me, crossed the road and disappeared into the unfenced forest on the other side, which is part of the property now owned by two well known wildlife photographers.

Once again I was puzzled by the thinking that goes into the construction of such a fence. The vast majority of those who live here have a genuine concern for all who inhabit the place, including the animals. But some still insist on fences which thwart the movement of deer and elk, especially as they go back and forth in search of food and water. I suppose it must have something to do with the urge to demonstrate ownership or perhaps it provides a sense of exclusivity, or a sense of security. Whatever the reasons, some members of our community make at least part of their living building fences, and the Bath house wasn’t the only one on Big Owl Road with a fence and a lawn. I suppose if I campaigned against fences I would be accused of taking the bread out of people’s mouths and thwarting what is apparently a basic urge to  grow grass.

I’m happy to report, however, that things may be changing, at least in a small way. The Bath house was sold, and the Osborne’s have taken down the fence and the lawn is reverting to the forest floor. The property with the three kinds of fencing has been sold and its new owners say they are going to take down the metal fences. It will be hard work and unless they do it themselves it will be expensive, but apparently they feel it’s worth it.

It would be a very nice thing if more people acknowledged in this way that we share this land with the creatures who were here first.

 

 

Columns

© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:

Introduction

Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]

Electricity

Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]

Hiking

Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders

Elevators

The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]

Visitors

Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird

Garbage

A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]

Weather

Fences

Commuting

Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac

June

Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer

Visitors

Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon

“Whiteout”

The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley

Infestations

On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]

Walking

Rumors About a Visit by the Pope

Progress?

More About Fences

Woodpeckers

The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government

Risks

Airports

Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke

 

The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983

Carpentry

Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House

Waving

The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?

Dogs

Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving

Garbage

Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”

Spring

An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins

Summer

The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI

 

 

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