Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Encore: The Earth Is Alive

In another post, I wrote about the joy of springtime and the horror of tsunamis. Planet Earth is constantly evolving and its changes proceed regardless of how human beings feel about them. Maybe the appropriate feeling is awe.

This spring Kathleen and I attended the annual Comal County Master Gardeners pot luck picnic at the old Lindheimer House, now a museum. Ferdinand Lindheimer was a botanist and one of the original 19th century German settlers in the Texas Hill Country. He's credited with discovering hundreds of native plant species, many of which bear his name. Some of them thrive in our yard.

Standing in the chow line, I overheard the couple in front of us talking about a wildfire that threatened the McDonald Observatory and nearby Fort Davis, Texas. It reminded me that this spring dozens of wildfires have started all over the state. In no time at all the heat, dryness, and wind can quickly cause a tiny spark to grow into a fire covering hundreds of acres. These fires are a normal, healthy part of nature; but we fight them when they threaten populated areas.

Someone sent me this photo...

2011 photo by David Doss/McDonald Observatory

As I washed down my potato salad with some iced tea, someone at the picnic spotted a barn owl in the trees. Kathleen whipped out her camera and got this photo.

2011 photo by Kathleen Scott

It was the first owl I've seen since we moved to Texas. Barn owls and wildfires. The Earth is alive.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .

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