Well, I’m glad I started this painting yesterday afternoon.  One, because it is snowing today and two, because the trees they cut down are already gone!

We had a great thick patch of woods behind our house.


It was so thick, so dark  and so green.   But this week the woods disappeared.

The land was an old farm parcel. The last from this in-town location.  Now it will be turned into housing.  8 to 12 houses to be exact.


I’ve been running into people on walks all week.  Telling me stories of how they’d go bird hunting when this wood patch was more of a meadow.  Another spent quite some time showing me where at least 3 of his forts were as a kid.  Everyone is in mourning.

 I’ve lost people in my life, I’ve lost pets, but this is different.  This too will be gone forever.  For once this land is developed, it doesn’t ever become undeveloped.

I’m absolutely sick with grief.



We have a family of very large hawks that live in these woods.   Will they stay?

 This week they have been perching on the house across the way. I’d imagine there won’t be much for them.

 I sure enjoyed watching the wildlife these woods offered.

I don’t like today’s painting.  It was made with anger, frustration and sorrow.  It’s dark.  Too dark for me. Figuratively and literally.

But that is what art is for.  To make you feel.  To make you think.

I titled this piece PLEASE STOP CUTTING DOWN OUR TREES.  Of course they are not my trees, my neighbors trees, or the people in this neighborhood’s.  But aren’t they?  The Native Americans were struck from this very land for that simple concept.  They couldn’t fathom someone approaching them and declaring that this was their land.  That made no sense.  We all live on this land and are part of this Earth, how could someone claim it for their own?  And yet here we are with crisp white pieces of paper claiming stake to every tree, rock  and blade of grass.  Do the animals of this land get to claim stake to anything?  Oh right, like the Native Americans, they weren’t really asked to the table.

Some people are passionate about a cure for cancer, some -rights for the impoverished, for me it’s land conservation.  The chain saws and bulldozers are pushing me closer and closer to getting off my rear and into the Land Trust office.  Spiritually speaking, loss can be a great motivator!

SO HERE IS A DECLARATION.  If anyone knows anyone at the South County Land Trust or even a National Land Trust and could introduce me to someone of relevance, I would like to offer my creativity as a form of community service.  I make invites, flyers, cards, illustrations, you name it and I’d be willing to help. It would feel great to get closer to a higher purpose  which in this case would be, making this earth a better one!

Compass Flyer3 GALA InvitationCompass Flyer1a Final Compass Flyerbred n black VCOOPKIDSINVITEb

Man this topic ruffles my feathers.  I just don’t get this country’s economic model.

Hmm, let’s see. We are in a recession.  So let’s get to a point where land owners can’t afford the taxes on our green space and are forced to sell.  Then, let’s allow developers to put over 200 houses in our community in one year (BTW…Who’s buying them during the recession?  How about the hundreds of existing homes that are already not selling?)  Let’s wrap them in a bow, throw a cherry on top and have our country call it economic growth?  As a human race, this model no longer works.  We can’t keep thinking leveling the earth and over developing it is going to bring all humans prosperity.  It makes no sense.  We need to maintain, reduce, down size.  My husband tells me to get my head out of the clouds.  No way would the powers that be, allow this model to change.  Head in the clouds or buried in the sand?  Take your choice.

OK. I am taking up your time. So I will leave you with one of the most gorgeous photos I’ve ever seen.

It was my back yard.



Like me on Facebook:  Be Creative Mary


  1. Hi Mary: I’m at work so I can’t talk, but do you think you can come up with a real *endangered* species (turtle, spotted salamander, pileated woodpecker, some critter) that needs the the habitat behind your house where homes are proposed? What about wetlands, watercourses? Your point about who-is-going-to-buy-one-in-this-economy-anyway is very valid, but from a developer’s angle, we are running out of buildable land. If all the neighbors are in mourning, this may be brought to public hearing. By Connecticut State Statute, a public hearing of the Environmental Impact Commission (or Planning or Zoning) is mandated if

    1. It determines that the proposed activity may have a significant impact on an inland wetland or watercourse; 2. At least 25 town residents (18 or older) have signed a petition requesting a public hearing (i.e., get your papers, you pens and get out there!); 3. The agency finds that a hearing would be in the public interest.

    This is per the Inland Wetland & Watercourse Agencies (IWWA) of CONNECTICUT, mind you. When one talks about impacts to traffic, safety, school populations, then one is bringing in the PLANNING and/or ZONING Commissions concerns, which can vote to also throw a public hearing if they choose. The *last* thing you and your neighbors want to discuss is the impact this may have to your property values.

    I’d better shut up and get back to work. Good luck. The never-fail, certain way to stop the tree-cutting and development? Buy the land yourselves. I know. I know, it sounds harsh. Love, pml

    Got any clients / friends whom are land use attorneys?

    On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 1:07 PM, becreativemary

  2. This has been a long time coming. They have all their ducks in a row. The zoning was slated before the property went up for sale. You know where I came from PML. Where I once lived there isn’t a postage stamp that hasn’t got a building on it. But here, it’s like 30 yrs behind there…..You know what’s coming before the inhabitants even do….You choose to live in a place for it’s scenic beauty and you slowly watch it get mowed down. I don’t plan on doing anything behind my house. I live in town for G sakes…but I can and should do something about my town if I can!

  3. I know this is an older post that I’m just now seeing but I just wanted to say, Mary, I couldn’t agree more with what you are saying here!

  4. Oh man…. I still haven’t gotten over it. Whether it’s my back yard or the countless farms in my town turning into developments, I can physically feel my body react. Over-development gives me existential dread. A place is a beautiful place to live because of all the nature and woods. Then people come in and tare it all down so they can join you. The thing that made the place beautiful is gone at that point. I live in the northeast. As the Lorax has now happened in two places I have lived, I just don’t know where else to go… Nova Scotia??? sooo cold and then I do to them what is happening to us. Seriously, DONT GET ME STARTED!!!!!

  5. Nova Scotia would be too cold for me also. I live in the southeast where there is still lots of forested land and I am fortunate to live on some, but development is also happening here. And there’s too much tornado weather. I’m sorry that happened so near your home.
    I’m not able to comment very often but I do love your art!

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