Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ecologist of the year

Tuesday evening we attended the Sinnissippi Audubon annual meeting and banquet. This year my father received an award for his lifetime contributions to numerous ecological organizations. No one has worked more tirelessly to preserve natural places and bring a harmony between people, birds and wildlife. I'm so proud of all the achievements he's made and he stands as a example to everyone. One person can make a difference.

My Dad is 86 and blind now. Up until a few years ago he was active in many wildlife organizations, the Ornithological Society, the National Land Institute wetland restoration projects, river clean up projects, and was a frequent lecturer on creating habitat for birds, butterflies, and wildlife. He helped a lot of homeowners build safe havens in their own backyards where nature could coexist peacefully with people.

Well done, Dad.

Another keen observer of nature was Robert Frost. His poems about simple, rural life in America have always touched my heart. The following poem is one of my favorites and beautifully describes spring in the northern United States.

Two Tramps in Mud Time

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.

A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight
And turns to the wind to unruffle a plume,
His song so pitched as not to excite
A single flower as yet to bloom.
It is snowing a flake; and he half knew
Winter was only playing possum.
Except in color he isn't blue,
But he wouldn't advise a thing to blossom.

The water for which we may have to look
In summertime with a witching wand,
In every wheelrut's now a brook,
In every print of a hoof a pond.
Be glad of water, but don't forget
The lurking frost in the earth beneath
That will steal forth after the sun is set
And show on the water its crystal teeth.