Our job is to record, each in his own way, this world of light and shadow and time that will never come again exactly as it is today.
~ Edward Abbey
Once again, I find it hard to believe I have reached another milestone, post #200 on this blog. I’m not sure what, if anything, is important about 100 posts, other than it being a way to mark time. Those of us that enjoy nature are, perhaps, more aware of time. We notice the subtleties in the passage of seasons and the changes in the presence or absence and the activities of our natural neighbors. There is something comforting about the passage of time in nature, and in its cycles, in knowing that spring will come again after a long winter. Being aware of time also helps me put perspective on things, much like standing in awe at a sunset in Lamar Valley does. We are all but tiny portions of a much grander scheme, one that started long before us, and will continue long after we are gone. Without a connection to the natural world, I think it easier to rush through life as if what is happening to you is all that is really going on in the world, all that is important. I think recording what has passed over time helps me see the bigger picture, that there is a world out there that is making the best of every moment, and that we should do the same.
Ten months have passed since blog #100. The next 100 started off with one of my bucket list sites – Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Bosque is about birds and sky, light and sound. It is a place where you are constantly amazed at the sheer numbers of birds and their ever present calls.
It is also a place of intimate moments with individual birds set in incredible light.
Florida, in winter, was another highlight in this group of blogs, another place of birds where it is easy to see their amazing diversity.
It was a good winter for leading trips, especially to my favorite refuge, Pocosin Lakes. As always, it provided amazing encounters, spectacles, and special moments with a host of species.
Yellowstone, as always, provided special memories. This year was certainly the year of the Grizzly, perhaps because it was earlier in the season than usual, and snow still covered much of the high country.
Within the past month, I reported on the amazing landscapes that make up Olympic National Park – mountains, rocky coasts, and forests of giant trees. Once again, I am reminded of the importance of people in a previous time, that made decisions to set aside special places for all time so we could all benefit from them and enjoy their wildness.
But, as is usually the case, most of my time has been spent close to the wildness of home. I am fortunate to live in a place that still retains some of its cast of characters that help make the passage of time outside my windows so fascinating.
I am thankful for the chance to observe them and learn something about them. It inspires me to want to record what I observe and share some of their amazing stories in the hopes that we will all start to appreciate and conserve the special places that surround us, while there is still time.
Our ideals, laws and customs should be based on the proposition that each generation, in turn, becomes the custodian rather than the absolute owner of our resources and each generation has the obligation to pass this inheritance on to the future.
~Charles A. Lindbergh