Thoreau did not live to be very old and, even so, what profound sentiments filled his relatively short life. I took this picture of a white pine at its prime and photoshopped the image to get this effect, adding the quote from HDT below:
In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.
Henry David Thoreau
Life is fatal. It is not a question that we all die … but how we live.
To live is to love with a sense of community … since no one lives without the kindness and good will of others on some level. Happiness and survival, then, are linked by love; and health, gained by living in a mutual effort to make our lives as rich and meaningful as is possible in this very short time on Earth … leaving a better place for our children.
When we see others suffering, as a consequence, it is our family that we see suffering, since we are all part of this fabric of life, and our understanding, deep-rooted and wordless. Clean food, water and air are basic. To destroy these things for the profit of a few is not healthy and it is, in fact, a sign of dysfunction on a global scale and profoundly disturbing.
What will we do about the assault on the health of this planet? Are we working fast enough and diligently enough to install the systems necessary for peaceful coexistence? Building the resources for education of our children, all children, so that our species will evolve to a higher plain?
Time will tell. Will we have enough of it before our life as a species runs its course?
For the sake of our beautiful planet.
Through pine needles and scarlet oak leaves, I watched a sunset in 2012. It was just after my mother had died and the strangest lightning had struck my pine on father’s day.
Mourning the loss of my mother, I watched as a trailer was brought to the Lake Harriet school parking lot in pouring rain that Friday. It rained through the weekend, no lightning, no thunder the day it struck, just a steady rain as I heard a crack and then another.
It wasn’t until the next day when I left my house that I saw bark scattered over the walk, a strip laying on the ground and wilted ivy in a 3-4 foot radius around the base of the tree. The inner bark was red as though it had just been opened with a knife, no burns anywhere. No charred fragments. Just the inside of a healthy tree and a drill like incision into the living phloem of the bark and possibly the vascular cambian from the top to the bottom of the tree.
It will be two years this June since the strike. The cambian and phloem layers have healed, but the bark continues to pull away in some areas. Many of the pine’s limbs have died, the rest of the tree has been losing needles and is covered with winter burn from a very bitter winter.
Since firs often have the effect of winter burn in a severe winter, I wait to see the fate of this white pine. It was planted in the 1950’s and grew well in this water dense area which was once a leg of Lake Calhoun.
Before doing the necessary studies to determine actual wolf populations, we have now had two wolf hunts in Minnesota. There is no way to know whether their numbers are threatened without this survey and so the Senate has voted to re-instate a temporary moratorium on the wolf hunt until studies can be done. There are other proposed changes as well:
After the 1930’s, the timber wolf was decimated in the lower 48 states leaving only Minnesota with original gray wolf populations, the only outside of Alaska in the United States. Studies have shown also that populations of healthy wolves are controlled in great part by the diversity of the gene pool, diminishing the birth of pups and reducing the possibility of recovery in places where there is a lack of diversity as in Yellowstone and Isle Royale. The gene pool of wolves here in Minnesota is more diversified, being wild, and therefore priceless in the reestablishment of the species here and elsewhere. At last count we have almost half of the wolves extant in the lower 48. Those numbers have been diminished greatly by two hunting seasons.
With the threat of copper mining looming if the Polymet is permitted (ROD due this fall and permit process already moving forward) the wolves will not be the only receptors of concern at risk. Protections of these apex predators would be a beginning.
Please contact your representatives and send a letter to Governor Dayton voicing your concern and support for reinstatement of a moratorium on hunting the timber wolf. Your representatives in the house need to hear from you concerning HF 2680.I am including Senator Scott Dibble’s response on April 13th, 2012 in part, to these concerns below:
“Prior to 1974 when wolves were unprotected in Minnesota, the wolf population fell to below 400. Since then, after they were added to the federal Endangered Species List and also classified as threatened by the State of Minnesota, their population has grown to somewhere between 2,200 and 3,500. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) tells us that absent a hunting and trapping season, the population has been stable since 1998. Exact numbers are not known, hence the need for more data and better diligence.
… Owners of livestock, guard animals, and domestic animals are already allowed to shoot wolves that pose a threat to their animals. The state also compensates farmers for livestock lost to wolves. In 2001, the DNR’s Wolf Management Plan, created with the help of more than two dozen stakeholders, called for a five year moratorium on the taking of wolves following federal delisting from the Endangered Species List. I will work to see that the DNR’s original plan is implemented so that careful planning will not be pre-empted by this legislative rush to open up a wolf hunt.”