Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Have you ever I climbed a mountain and beheld the sights when you arrived at the top? I have and the one that I remember the most was in the Adirondack Mountains , a short climb to an outlook called Eagle’s Nest. When I got to the top, I sat on the immense boulders and cast my eyes on the view before me. I saw a sight I could never forget. Several lakes surrounded by brilliant autumn colors. I sat there in the sunlight for hours taking in the majesty and absorbing the spiritual energy.
Mountains are said to symbolize vision and energy. We can connect with our higher selves there, and I have felt that immense energy there. And as I have created my wildlife garden, I have found that same connection. Every time I see these amazing natural vistas whether at home or away, I am thankful for this wonderful Earth. And that gratitude is a major reason I have continued to recreate my garden into a wildlife friendly space in the midst of expanses of lawns, and chemicals for the upkeep of those lawns and to get rid of every wildflower, weed, critter and insect found on or near those lawns. In creating a more organic, wildlife friendly space I am finding a way to give back to the Earth. And the wildlife that visit are pure pleasure and delight. Right now the bird activity alone is amazing as there are sparrows and bluebirds already nesting. The birds have increased in number each year in my wildlife garden which feeds them with only the insects and native plants found in the garden (and a bit of suet for the woodpeckers). For this post, I am using pictures of birds that have been foraging in the garden so far this spring. The robin above was getting rained on and is a bit out of focus as he was shaking off all the water.
What better time to think about the Earth and what we are doing to give back than to celebrate Earth Day in a way that is meaningful. I thought another way for me to give back would be to read a special book that symbolizes Earth Day as I link in with Holley’s Garden Book Review meme. I chose the book , Silent Spring, which is the book that helped launch the environmental movement. I did not read this book when I was in middle and high school in the late 60s and early 70s. I wish I had, but no matter it is as timely today as it ever was.
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co; Anniversary edition (Oct 22, 2002)
Amazon Price: $11.10
In A Few Words
I love the premise of the book. What if suddenly the birds were gone, there were no bees and blooms, farmers couldn’t raise any baby farm animals, there were no fish in the streams and a white powder was found over everything. People had finally silenced spring which never came again. This premise paints a rather scary picture of the future.
“It is ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray.” ~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
“Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world. ” ~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
What I Liked
Carson’s social criticism led us to take responsibility for our actions and helped launch the first Earth Day on this day in 1970. We are living with the after effects of many of the mass spraying of chemicals the author references. I find the book particularly relevant today as we continue to spray for mosquitoes here like we did for Japanese beetles in the late 50s. The deadly effects may have been quicker to see in the 50s with 80% of song birds dead from the spraying as well as other critters affected. But I can’t believe that today’s mass sprayings are not affecting the environment and people who breath in these chemicals.
“A Who’s Who of pesticides is therefore of concern to us all. If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals eating and drinking them, taking them into the very marrow of our bones – we had better know something about their nature and their power.” ~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
“The earth’s vegetation is part of a web of life in which there are intimate and essential relations between plants and animals. Sometimes we have no choice but to disturb these relationships, but we should do so thoughtfully, with full awareness that what we do may have consequences remote in time and place.” ~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Not So Much
One of the criticisms of this book is that it is out-dated. I still believe it is a must read even if you just read select chapters along with the first and last chapter. Each section makes a case for the premise of the book.
Another issue some have with the book is that it has been mentioned that the book presents only one side of this argument. I think Carson presented lots of evidence for her arguments, and ended the book with some interesting alternatives to chemical controls. I continue to explore my own biological alternatives in gardening such as companion planting.
“As crude a weapon as the cave man’s club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life – a fabric on the one hand delicate and destructible, on the other miraculously tough and resilient, and capable of striking back in unexpected ways. These extraordinary capacities of life have been ignored by the practitioners of chemical control who have brought to their task no “high-minded orientation,” no humility before the vast forces with which they tamper.” ~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
“The control of nature is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and the convenience of man” ~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
“In nature nothing exists alone.” ~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
- Consider planting more native plants to give back habitats for birds, butterflies, pollinators and other critters.
- Conserve water by using the right plants for your conditions. Natives also help conserve water use.
- Eliminate chemical use especially on your lawn and in your garden.
- Reduce your lawn and plant more native lawn alternatives and gardens. Reducing lawns helps also reduce gas emissions, chemicals and water use and creates more habitats for critters.
My blogger friend, Susie Troccolo@ Life-Change-Compost and I were giving away seeds to help our native bees. Susie has a wonderfully written blog so I hope you will visit her. You can check out Susie’s recent post, Bee Grateful. I plan to have another seed giveaway in May with a surprise for Susie. She has become a wonderful friend and I really want to help her grow her blog.
Winners on my blog are:
Karen@Back Road Journal
Tina@In The Garden
Next up on the blog: Monday brings another Wildflower Tale. Then it will be May and the middle of spring…my favorite month during my favorite season!!
I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.
I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my most current post now.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.
Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.
All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2013. Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.