Earth Day 2018 – what side are you on?

Last year on this date Ruben Anderson and I each posted an Earth Day piece. [1, 2] Looking back one year – here in the U.S. the Trump Administration had only three months under its belt, but the fierce political dichotomies leading up to DT’s election had been brewing for quite some time. Every subject seems to have sides. Unless one walks away from the issue altogether, then at some level you’ll find yourself on a side. And that needn’t necessarily be a bad thing. However, if no one on any side of an issue ever listens to anyone else, well it does quickly turn into a bad thing.

So this year I’d like to take a moment to listen. And the first thing I hear is so much noise. It’s pretty loud out there. And the noise is not all in decibels. There are flashing signs, robo calls, and trash scattered everywhere. Makes one want to retreat to a quiet place, somewhere one can avoid the noise and soak up some serenity. I know just the place. There is a little farm where I can go to wander in the woods, listen to the birds, and hear the breeze whisper through the trees. A fine retreat. And as it happens, this little farm sits on the north bank of the Little Darby Creek. This tributary of the Big Darby Creek shares with its larger stream relative a designation as a National Scenic River. That sounds good to me.

Just last Sunday, April 15th, the Columbus Dispatch ran a column by Jim McCormac on the history of Ohio’s Scenic Rivers Act. Jim is a local naturalist and in addition to writing for the Dispatch, has a blog of his own [3]. In his column Jim lays out a history of the Ohio Scenic Rivers legislation that blazed the trail for national legislation along the same lines [cf. 4, 5]. A nice enough column on its own, but the real prize for me was the paper’s publishing of a link to Jim’s blog. Following up that lead I found another piece he had just posted about a field trip he and some colleagues did to sample aquatic wildlife in the Little Darby [6].

                            Jim McCormac and friends in the Little Darby – April 2018

This sampling mission took place downstream from our farm – which as you view this picture would be far off in the background around several twists and bends. But here, let me show you what the Little Darby looks like in the summer, from our farm:

                                            Little Darby Creek running right to left (late Spring, 2017).

What side am I on? At this spot the Little Darby is running primarily west to east, and I’m standing on the north side. If you appreciate peaceful places where nature is left pretty much alone – I’m on your side. If you think we should be about preserving such places for posterity – I’m on your side. If you imagine it is already too late to save anything worth saving – then take a seat, and I’ll mosey on over to the other side. But do have your say. I’ll listen.


The featured image showing two pictures of the planet illustrates our shiny blue marble from opposite sides.  In that image I’m on the left side.  But one hopes this is merely a geographical fact and not grounds to disagree about which side is right.

The header pic is new – this one showing the farmer’s daughter teaching Gulliver to read their language (Brobdingnag).

1) GP ’17 Earth Day:

2) Link to Ruben’s ’17 piece:

3) Link to McCormac’s piece that was also published in the Dispatch:

4) Link to the national legislation (October 2, 1968) ht to National Parks Service:

5) Link to The two Darby’s scenic sections mapped out:

6) Link to McCormac’s article on sampling in the Little Darby (very cool pics of creek wildlife):



  1. Thank you for writing about Earth Day, which I would like to celebrate with you in a special multimedia post at


  2. Thanks for this Earth Day salute, Clem. We are all on the same side really, the side of the life on Earth. Sometimes some people seem to forget or get distracted by more petty concerns like the number in their bank account.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nicely done, I like that this is now an annual rite.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. New header and wallpaper, what next, sir?


    1. What next? Perhaps a video of me interviewing Jack Black about his experience playing Gulliver. Of course we’ll have to be snacking on soy products. My people are waiting for his people to get back to us. Breath holding not advised.

      Could pass the time writing limericks on a new found muse – Bertie Wooster. And the world has only you to blame for putting me on to Wodehouse in the first place (though if the world should rise up to smite you for the effort, know that I will hasten to your aid – however could you have anticipated the effect PG has had??). At coffee break this morning I managed another 3 stanzas to follow the effort left at SRA. Perhaps these are best left unpublished – for the safety of a Tennessee hill farmer I know.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If you haven’t, then I suggest you enter the world of Lord Emsworth next and book a stay at Blanding’s Castle.


    1. A fascinating coincidence… I have snuck into Blanding’s Castle on the pages of ‘Leave it to Psmith’. Unfortunately my attention span works better with short fiction than longer pieces, and it may take a much longer time to finish the same. I’ve borrowed a copy of ‘A Wodehouse Bestiary’ and popped through a few of the shorts there. My favorite thus far the story about the swan “treeing” Bertie and the Lord of the Mansion in the rain on the island… Jeeves ties up all the loose ends.

      Not to suggest I’m the least bit thick with experience of Wodehouse, but thus far I’m detecting few of the female characters coming off well. Not that shrinking violets are called for here, but some very onerous behaviors have been on evidence for the ‘fairer sex’.


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