Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles, 40.5 AU)
Earth Day Stories
The diffuse line between day and night on our planet is illustrated in this amazing photograph
Good morning, Happy early Earth Day. I certainly miss the Earth Day Celebrations that we have had at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. I believe that being compliant with Covid-19 safety protocols will allow us to celebrate again in the future. Some of my friends and I celebrated completion of our Covid vaccine regime by having a gathering at Hendricks Park in Eugene. It had been over a year since any of us had had a good hug and a picnic together. We did the right thing and were rewarded by it.
During our Covid isolation period Trudy and I ventured up to the North Umpqua River to explore the area around Medicine Rock. We came across a boulder that really impressed us, we call it: "The Eye of the World". It gazes out across a landscape that is millions of years old that has seen fire, flood, volcanic eruptions, and ancient sea beds. The time span is what amazes me and the time that it took to constitute all of these changes. Thousand upon thousands of years for all of these life changing forces to take shape and I ask myself, what have I done to reshape the environment in my short seven decades of living on this Earth?Jacie Pratt and I (Lillene Fifield), ages 85 and 79, experienced the special joy of having new residents from Maine move into Roseburg across our dead end street in the middle of the Pandemic. So we made friends, and now decided to share our abundant garden with them this summer. They are vegans and organic and love to garden but have no space. Together we are trying a square-foot garden adventure - compatible planting, higher yield, using less space, less water, feeding fewer weeds, and sharing the experience of friendship and welcoming new beautiful people to our Roseburg hometown. When we are all vaccinated (almost there) we can share the bounty together.
At this stage of my life I have more flexibility with what and when I accomplish tasks. Besides I live close to downtown resources so I can walk to the bank, the post office and other services. When I drive, regularly to the YMCA, I make a list of what I need to do and avoid frequent trips. I use the car about 3 times/week. I enjoy walking.
Newspapers pile up. I save them in recycled paper or plastic bags and friends who have a huge garden pick them up on a regular basis for their compost piles. I also recycle mixed paper and take them toSister’s Shredding. The Roseburg land fill now takes wine bottles and glass jars.
I have weekly service from Roseburg Disposal and recycle plastic milk jugs, used and clean aluminum foil, tin cans with tops removed and flattened corrugated boxes.
For many years I have brought my own bags to the market and shopping at the Saturday Market cuts down on the use of plastic.
I have started a compost pile in the back yard for grass and clippings.
I also am a member of several organization related to the enviroment. I try to be informed.
A year like no other. What a year to embark on new things, with extra time to reflect and think about how things are done. I was able to move to a new home and get a new knee (despite a surgery delay) using the isolation time to heal and put energy into the new house and garden. Our earth is connected to everything we do. I’ll share two of the impacts I work on, biochar and plastics.
Having done a fair amount of trimming at the new home we’ve moved to, I’m looking forward to processing woody debris into biochar. I’ve been more emboldened to bring up biochar in random conversations. Having tried different kilns for efficient production of biochar, I’m excited to try a method proved to be among the best and simplest, as well as most ancient--that of burning slash in a pit in the ground. But then it’s the spreading of the biochar, mixing it into the soil that brings that small satisfaction in trapping that carbon for centuries while making the soil more nurturing to microbes and plants.
Plastic is the icon of modern society; the marker of what we now know is the Anthropocene. Because it’s generated with the destiny to become trash, its durability has made our earth a trash bin. To lighten my touch on the earth from this source I’m reducing its purchase, then I reuse and recycle that which can be, and finally, keep plastic trash from escaping into the outdoors.
What do I hope to save by honoring the earth? So many things, but ultimately the beauty and awe inherent in a moment to stop and, for no other reason, behold the nature that surrounds.
Neal Hadley, Mapleton, OR
Ode To An Umpqua Spring
Vultures early with their legion
Punxsutawney Phil correct this region
There’re daffodils, but first impatiens
Much activity by God’s creations
Gobbling Toms court the hens
Purple heads bob through my lens
The color shows their mood
Soon, we’ll see a brood
Creek level rises, grasses high
Mallards splash from the blue sky
Ducklings’ safety carefully sought
Looking for concealed spot
Yard garden flags changed
At their base new flowers arranged
Mama Robin with red breast
Busy building her new nest
Doves and owls soulful croon
Woodpeckers hammer forest tune
Bluebirds, swallows seek birdhouses
Need good homes for their spouses
Spotted fawn with gangly walk
Soon is running with the flock
Down in the creek, some strange noise
Tiny mallards, girls and boys
Closer glance shows tiny wood ducks
No parents, surprised influx
Mama Robin holds worms and bugs
Fills three mouths and gets hugs
She guards her clutch in many ways
Always alert for marauding jays
Hummers seek nectar
A bully protects a sector
Many form a fighting gang
Dive-bomb that ruffian with a bang
Abets my mind
In the sky, faint sounds of jets
Sweet soothing night sets
So grateful for all of this
My life, so full of bliss
In Nature's Way,
John A. Trotogott
On March 10, 2020 I was at the State Capitol with 100 other climate activists celebrating the signing of Governor Kate Brown's Executive Order on Climate Change. Days later, Oregon shut down and all celebration came to an end. Deprived of my usual social interactions the Earth became more precious than ever to me as teacher, companion, comforter. I sought the wisdom of the river outside my back door. Listening with my heart surrendering to its flow. As days turned to weeks and weeks to months I found the resolve to join with other climate activists from all areas of Oregon to do the work of making the Governor's Order a reality for the most difficult of times.