The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, marked for me the dawn of environmental consciousness, and I was so hopeful. In southern Alabama, the channelization of streams by the Army Corps of Engineers and clear-cutting of southern forests by the mammoth forest products companies were the issues at the top of the local environmental agenda of the day. As a young zoology grad student, the issues seemed large but surmountable in the spring of 1970. Fixing them would just take time. Senator Gaylord Nelson …

Earth Day 2007: How Many More? Read more »

Emily Dickinson was right to see that a prairie consists of only one flower and a bee. When my world was small, a quarter acre vacant wooded lot was enough to make a wilderness. I grew up in the limits of a sprawling Alabama city, but I was happiest when I imagined I was surrounded by ‘wilderness’. In the leafy chaos of empty lots and wooded neighborhood margins I was a pioneer. Playing cowboys and Indians in a tiny fraction of an acre of …

In Search of Wildness Read more »

Yesterday, March 28: the first day of Spring on Goose Creek. The measure: not day length or temperature; not the blooming of Coltsfoot (come far too early this year) or pinking of the buds at the tips of trees along Nameless Creek when the sun rises earlier and earlier each day. The first day of Spring is marked by our first meal on the front porch. This year, it was Ann–the irresistible force: Let’s eat outside! And I– the immovable object: it’s too cool …

Spring Read more »

A few of you reading this have been following this dog and pony show since the early days (five years ago almost to the day). Suffice it to say that when this epic began, the destination was far from certain. In late March, 2002, the handwriting was on the wall, and it bode ill for my professional future. I knew I would not continue to dig the same hole deeper. Just where I would plant my spade, and what treasure I would find there …

Sharing Some Good News Read more »

Spring. A time of new beginnings. A time to take nourishment from our roots to our winter-resting branches and grow a little taller–no matter how old we are. And for this purpose–to give you an idea of the soil you grow in–I’ve posted a link to the Where I’m From template permanently in the sidebar. This “meme” is still circulating to good effect out there in the online world. And closer to home, even wife Ann sat down and wrote her own version for …

The WHEREs We’re From Read more »