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 . 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 .
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:
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):