One of the principles of permaculture involves identifying the nuisances and dangers that your surroundings pose to your space and its inhabitants. Once identified, we include provisions to address them in the permaculture plans. Typical nuisances are noise, smells and visual blights. Dangers include theft, fire, flooding, and other weather related events.
On our half acre plot we enjoy silence and pure air, and wonderful dark nights. Probably ants constitute our greatest nuisance at this point and we're studying options to eradicate them. A little black ant with a fierce sting lives under our house and when the new inhabitants are kicked out to go establish their own community - which seems to happen once or twice a week at this time of the year - they come up into our bedroom.
|The reddish worker drones of the black ant colony under our house.|
|The swept-up dispersing ants that collected in our bedroom one afternoon.|
Other insects plague us as well, such as the huge green caterpillars that eat the tender new leaves of our manioc (cassava, yuca) plants. I pull them off one by one to get rid of them.
|Caterpillars on manioc stems.|
So far the monkeys haven't become a nuisance - we actually really enjoy watching them when they occasionally pass through the trees along the creek corridor. But the mangoes on one of the trees close to the house are golden ripe and one recent morning I heard the monkeys chattering in the tree. If you look closely you'll see one of the monkeys as they beat a retreat. This little guy stood up to get a good look at me before he scampered away.
|Bridge over the creek at the entrance to our plot.|
|Fire gap between the pasture (low, grazed grass) and our property (tall uncut grass that hasn't experienced |
Guy's scythe yet). The climbing vine is a passion fruit plant.
Poisonous snakes represent a danger to keep in mind, but there's little we can do about them except to remain vigilant. Actually if we kept geese or guinea hens I'm told they eat the baby snakes. Lightening is another danger, killing more people than snakes, but again the solution is paying attention.
All in all, we feel quite safe and serene in our lovely home.