Who is the Next Rachel Carson?

Great Falls National Park – Virginia – August 2015
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” – Rachel Carson
I’ve just finished reading a biography of Rachel Carson “On a Farther Shore” by William Soudor and I realized how much we need another Rachel Carson. She had a style of writing that translated technical scientific information into something that was accessible and enjoyable to non-scientific folks. She forwarded the notions of environmentalism,  ecology, and the interrelationship of all things in nature. Before her, people thought of earth as dirt, she promoted the idea of “the earth” as an entire planet with an ecosystem of interdependent life forms.
In addition to her literary prowess she was a scientist, familiar with the scientific method and capable of processing vast amounts of information. She spent 15 years working as a writer for the federal government in the fish and wildlife service. Eventually becoming editor-in-chief of all publications for that division.
When her fourth book “Silent Spring” arrived people paid attention. Published in 1962, this book was instrumental in raising the public’s awareness of the dangers of pesticides, particularly DDT and it’s derivatives.  And tangentially radioactive fallout from nuclear testing. The book ultimately led to creating an environment where restrictions on the use of DDT and the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency became possible.
Fortunately her publisher Houghton Mifflin was prepared for the backlash that would follow publication and backed their writer against industry and government criticism. Without this support the book may have failed.
Amazingly, she knew and was writing about global warming in the 1950’s. I’m sure given enough time she would have figured out what was causing it. Unfortunately she died much too young from cancer.
So where is the next Rachel Carson, who is the next publishing house willing to back that person and fight corporate and governmental issues?
Further information

Lake Apopka North Shore Wildlife Drive

Osprey – Lake Apopka North Shore – June 2015
Osprey – Lake Apopka North Shore – June 2015
“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.” – Ansel Adams
Lake Apopka is the 4th largest lake in Florida and a recovery miracle. It was virtually dead in the 1980’s when it was declared an environmental super fund site after a massive pesticide spill. This was just the final nail after years of draining wetlands and farming. Now a lot of the former farmland has become the North Shore Management area that is now a functioning wetlands used to filter lake water and return it to the lake. More about the newly opened wildlife drive tomorrow.

Cliff Swallows

Cliff Swallow Houses – Domtar Park – May 2015
Cliff Swallow – Domtar Park – May 2015

“The perch swallows the grub-worm, the pickerel swallows the perch, and the fisherman swallows the pickerel, and so all the chinks in the scale of being are filled” – Henry David Thoreau

This was my first encounter with cliff swallows, they build their nests from mud under bridges. Probably used to build them on cliffs but…. This park was in Kingsport, TN.

Can’t say enough about Thoreau, he saw the connections in nature at a time when most folks were just killing stuff.

Quote found at http://thinkexist.com/quotes/with/keyword/swallows/


Black Bellied Whistler – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015
Couple – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

“Conservation is now a dead word” – Marjory Stoneman Douglas

The above quote came from a 91 year old Marjory in the early 1980’s. Still trying to rally the troops to protect her beloved everglades. Perhaps our (Florida) legislators will listen to the will of the people and continue current conservation efforts.

Quote found at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/marjory_stoneman_douglas.html

Out of Doors

Sunrise – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015
Dawn Flare – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

“Nature is not easily discouraged, she recreates again and again that which has been destroyed” – Charles Torrey Simpson

Current read is a book about Florida called Out of Doors in Florida by Charles Torrey Simpson. Simpson was a naturalist who lived and studied Florida’s environment in the first part of the 20th century. While the above quote was specific to the roll fire plays in the Florida environment, it is true no matter what or who is the destroyer. And it applies to us as well.

Wildflower Wednesday

Interesting Plant – Lake Monroe Park – May 2015
Interesting Leaves – Lake Monroe Park – May 2015

“My progress was rendered delightful by the sylvan elegance of the groves, cheerful meadows, the high distant forests, which in grand order presented themselves in view” – William Bartram

William Bartram, my favorite naturalist, traveled these paths in the late 1700’s seeing wonders we can only dream about.

Quote found at http://www.great-quotes.com/quotes/author/William/Bartram


Roseate Spoonbill – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015
Family? – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” – John Wooten
The spoonbill is a success story here in the US. In the 1930’s there were estimated to be 30-40 breeding pairs remaining. They were hunted almost to extinction for their feathers, coveted by women for their hats. I often wonder how I would have behaved back in those days. Would I have seen the implications of what was being done to our environment or not. After all John Audobon was an avid hunter himself. While he most likely wasn’t the guy sitting on the front of the boat shooting whatever moved, he still would kill birds so that he could study them.