born today

Recognizing two exemplary humans born on this day, May 12…

1895J. Krishnamurti – Indian philosopher who renounced his foretold role as guru and head of the Order of the Star in the East.

From his biography on the Krishnamurti Foundation site:

“Krishnamurti belonged to no religious organization, sect or country, nor did he subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought. On the contrary, he maintained that these are the very factors that divide human beings and bring about conflict and war. He reminded his listeners again and again that we are all human beings first and not Hindus, Muslims or Christians, that we are like the rest of humanity and are not different from one another. He asked that we tread lightly on this earth without destroying ourselves or the environment. He communicated to his listeners a deep sense of respect for nature. His teachings transcend man-made belief systems, nationalistic sentiment and sectarianism. At the same time, they give new meaning and direction to mankind’s search for truth. His teaching, besides being relevant to the modern age, is timeless and universal.”

*Krishnamurti is not one to follow, for he spoke against all leaders and authority, but his words are insightful and, in my opinion, worth reading.
_____________________________________________________

1921Farley Mowat – Canadian writer and conservationist who just passed away last week on May 7th at the age of 92.

From the tribute Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society wrote for his friend:

“Canada has lost their greatest literary treasure, the world has lost one of our most inspirational conservationists and Sea Shepherd and I have lost a wonderful friend.

Canada will one day name a national park in his honour for he has earned his place as a truly Canadian hero through talent, imagination, vision, courage and passion. Canada has a long history of contempt for people that they later almost canonize as heroes long after they die – people like Grey Owl, Louis Riel, Dr. Norman Bethune, Tommy Douglas, etc.

For despite his unpopularity with the conservative Harper government, Farley has always had the love and the respect of the Canadian people and he will not be forgotten.”

*My dog is named Farley, partly in honor of Farley Mowat, and I can see a spirit in him similar to that of his namesake.

primeval


Em El and I took some much-needed vacation time last week. Part of our journey included a return trip (for me) to one of my favorite places in the South: the Congaree National Park. This park protects the largest remaining tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest on the continent. The average canopy height of the trees is over 100 feet, with many trees well over 150 feet high, including the National Champion Loblolly Pine, which tops out at 167 feet high and almost 15 feet around. Here I am below in front of one of the Congaree’s mighty giants. To put things in perspective a bit, I am about 6 feet 2 inches tall.


On this day, we spent about 6 hours exploring the swamp and it held many wonders for us. Migrating warblers and vireos flitted through the park, often coming quite close, and we frequently heard the wild cry of the Pileated Woodpecker, a bird that is in my mind the perfect ambassador to a place like the Congaree. During our sojourn, we were also lucky enough to spot two Barred Owls. Perhaps the biggest surprise, though, was the small herd of wild boars we startled (the startling was mutual, believe me) as we hiked through one of the more remote areas of the park.

Between the massive trees, the clumps of Spanish moss hanging everywhere, and the overwhelming primal feel of the place, I felt like we’d traveled back in time, and I couldn’t help wondering what it must’ve been like before our ancestors tore through here like a pack of Tasmanian devils, chopping down trees and draining swamps like there was an endless supply of both.


All I can say is I am so glad that the National Park Service exists. It is arguable that it was too little too late, and that in the grand scheme of things, the NPS protects a mere shred of the natural beauty that once adorned this country. But if it weren’t for places like the Congaree, it would be so much harder to drive through the South today and see how suburban sprawl eats up more and more land. I think of my trip to the Congaree like a pilgrimage. I return to the city renewed inside, for a little while at least.

state of the birds

  • Recent Posts

  • Navigation Station

    The links along the top of the page are rudimentary attempts at trail markers. Otherwise, see below for more search and browse options.

  • In Search of Lost Time

  • Personal Taxonomy

  • Common Ground

  • Resources

  • BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS