Thoughts on well-being, sustainability and those things that constitute a good life beyond consumption.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Musing on Hog Island


Being here at Hog Island

reminds me of my home, my place

where I grew up on the shores of Lake Superior.

I am a water person.

Not the type who spends time

lying on the beach or riding on power boats.

I love the craggy, irregular shorelines

where spruce and white pine and birch

bow down to pay their respects to the vast blue.

Being here with the Osprey family

behind the kitchen, outside my bedroom,

reminds me of a former colleague.

He retired before I had the opportunity

to talk to him about his project.

The one that reintroduced Osprey into Pennsylvania.

And now I know

of Steve Kress and Project Puffin

and other seabird restoration projects.

I recently reviewed data,

50 years of it from a hawk watch near home.

The positive impact of banning DDT was clear.

The age distribution, the numbers

of migrating Bald Eagles and Osprey

are better now, so I am hopeful today.

Being here, I think of people

who saved this island and other special places.

A family linked to Henry David

who saved the work of a great poet, Emily.

I am intrigued by the picture

of Millicent Todd Bingham and Rachel Carson

and the ties to Audubon.

What would have been lost

if Rachel hadn’t written about the silence of spring?

Did Scott Weidensaul inspire the flyway initiative?

Lately, I have been reading

about nature and environmental writing

and the impact writers have had on conservation and awareness.

Bill McKibben asks what metaphors,

what type of writing we need now

For 21st century conservation, for the many threats of today?

Not Muir, Leopold, Brower or Abbey.

But who?

As I have been watching the water,

the seabirds, the intertidal pools,

I also wonder what each of us will do.

To make a difference,

To preserve a special place,

To continue the stories and provide hope for others.

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