Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Bookshelf

My first hike of 2011 was through the Grand Kankakee Marsh. I love the wetland created by the Kankakee River. The marsh is full of ducks and geese in the spring. Deer, muskrat, heron and many frogs and turtles make their home there. And the fishing is great too.

Wetlands clean a lot of the poisons that we humans leave in our wake. Things like pesticides and fertilizers from farming along the river go into the river. People who use the area also leave things behind like horse and dog dung. And then there are things that float down through the area with the river water;  maybe a big factory farm that leaches antibiotics and chemicals from raising chickens and eggs. All these things can be filtered somewhat through a wetland.

The book that made the biggest difference to me about the havoc that pollutants can make to the environment is Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. Ms. Carson was just a regular person who noticed that birds had been quietly disappearing. She found the source was pollution and did something about it. Re-reading the book every now and then reminds me of the part we all take in making the pollution and the impact that it has on the water, air, and land that we share with all the creatures on the fragile planet Earth.

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