The Bald Eagle

I chose the chapter Bald Eagle for two reasons. First, this past Saturday I saw a bald eagle for the first time in my life. It was perched halfway up the light pole nearest the golf course at Papp stadium, with its head held high and chest puffed out. It was surreal. Secondly, the Philadelphia Eagles have always been my favorite NFL team. Therefore, it was only natural that I was drawn towards this chapter. The Bald Eagle’s most well known feature is its very unique white head and shoulders, as well as its overpowering sense of focus and determination in its eyes. Furthermore, when on the hunt for prey, the Bald Eagle can top speeds of 100 mph. Overall, this is one cool bird.

In the chapter, Williams continues talking about her mom’s cancer, and the ongoing battle she is fighting with it. She brings up their conversations about the disease and her mom’s experience with it. Her mom explains that sometimes she forgets she has the disease and that life goes on as normal. She later brings in her experience of seeing 12 bald eagles standing on the frozen salt lake, looking like “white hooded monks”. Furthermore, she explains their feeding habits and migratory patterns, stating “when the ice goes so do they”. Overall, I think the bald eagle experience connects to the general theme of cancer prevalent throughout the book . The theme that cancer affects everything in a persons life, could be applied to humans cancerous effects on nature. When someone gets cancer, not only does their body start deteriorating, their relatives and loved ones also bear some burden. In a similar way, humans can be a cancer to nature, affecting the habitats of animals. If the habitat of a particular animal is destroyed, then the animal bears the consequences, or takes the burden, often leading to extinction. Humans have lead to the rapid increase in global temperature, which could result in there being no more ice soon (in geographic time). Therefore, the habitat of the bald eagle using the ice on Salt Lake for hunting/feeding grounds,¬†as explained by Williams, may soon no longer exist. Leading to the extinction of the Bald Eagle in a similar way as cancer.

Reference with cool facts about the Bald Eagle: http://www.birdsandblooms.com/birding/bird-species/birds-of-prey/7-cool-facts-bald-eagles/.

Autumn Colors

The chapter “Autumn Colors” provides a great in depth perspective of David Kline’s appreciation of fall and the ecosystem. Specifically, David Kline unloads his vast amounts of knowledge about the underlying causes of fall foliage, as well as highlighting how the change in seasons alters the ecosystem. He starts off by addressing the false belief that a “hard frost” is needed to change the colors of the trees. When in fact, a “hard frost” is very detrimental fall foliage. He then goes on to explain the real cause of fall foliage, which involves the days becoming shorter, resulting in trees “withdrawing sap” to their trunks and thus leaving the leaves out of circulation. This results in the green leaves fading into gold, yellow, and red colors.

After a detailed inspection of the leaves, Kline goes into the woods and inspects the fall atmosphere. Specifically, he finds a log to sit on and feels “the rhythm of the season”. First, he examines a predator prey relationship between a hawk and a squirrel, as well as a worker bee’s possible last flight before dying in the autumn cold. Ultimately, Kline shows the shifting tide of the fall season.

Overall, I connected with this chapter the most because I too am an avid lover of the fall season. Specifically, I like watching the leaves turn colors over the course of the month of October. For example, everyday while walking to class I would observe the leaves, much like Kline would, and watch the progress or “rhythm of the season” unfold.

The Storms

My flat was the living room of a cabin in the Adirondacks that we have rented for years. The cabin has nearly become a second home for my family and I. It was early morning, and I was sitting in the heated living room that had a big window overlooking a frozen lake, with mountains behind the lake. It was sunny at the time, but the forecast called for on and off snow showers all day. As the morning progressed, I looked to the west and saw the onset of dark clouds take over the shining sun. The clouds were moving fast, and before I knew it, it was dumping snow the hardest I had ever seen it. It only lasted 10 minutes before the sun came out again, but the snow had accumulated a couple inches. Specifically, I remember it did this several times throughout the day. it was a constant cycle. The sun fading away, then heavy snow, and the sun coming back out again. I had never seen the weather so bipolar. This phenomena was known as lake effect snow, in which the easterly wind that blows over Lake Ontario picks up moisture and dumps heavy snow up to a couple hundred miles inland.

The Snow Lives Deep Into the Summer

When I was younger, my brother an I were obsessed with snowstorms. In Southeastern Pennsylvania we would occasionally get these big snowstorms called Nor’ Easters, in which a low pressure system moves up and along the east coast. As the storm moves up the coast, it very often strengthens and sends heavy snow inland. One time we had two of these storms within the same week. By the end of the two storms we had a whopping 5 feet of snow, which doesn’t happen very often in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Schools were closed for the entire next week, which was awesome. So we were outside most of the day playing in the snow when we decided to make a snowball and put it in our freezer inside. Therefore, when the snow melted we would have a “souvenir” to remember the historic snowstorm. Well, we forgot about the snowball for awhile, and one July summer day I was searching the freezer for ice cream when I came upon this snowball, that had been turned into a round block of ice.

Black Squirrels

Before I came to Wooster, I only thought squirrels were brown or gray. I was intrigued when I first stepped foot on campus at the enormous population of black squirrels.Specifically, I remember walking to my classes everyday from Andrews dorm my freshman year, and watching dozens of them chase each other around like they were playing “tag”. After doing some research, I found that the squirrels are actually eastern gray squirrels with a genetic condition called “Melanism”. Melanism is the unusual darkening of body tissues caused by excessive production of melanin, especially as a form of color variation in animals. Animals that can share this condition are the black panther, wolves, leopards, and jaguars.

 

source: https://animalsake.com/facts-about-black-squirrels

 

Husbandry

“Ancient poetry and mythology suggest, at least, that husbandry was once a sacred art, but it is pursued by irreverent haste and heedlessness by us, our object being to have large farms and large crops merely.”

In this passage, Thoreau states that the human desire for more has basically ruined the sacred art of husbandry (farming). This passage irritates me because Thoreau himself had a bean-field whose rows added together was seven miles long, as stated at the beginning of the chapter called “The Bean field”. Personally, this passage reminds me of the most famous parent saying ever, “do as I say, not as I do”. Thoreau states that we shouldn’t have these big crop fields, even though he has one.

Johnson’s Woods

As I walked along the wooded path of Johnson’s Woods, I noticed the “good” and “bad” impacts it had on the surrounding nature. The “bad” impact that I recognized most was the graffiti markings on the slick and smooth beach trees. Moreover, most of these markings were due to the easy access of nature via the wood path. Therefore, I would argue that if not for the wood path a lot of these markings would not be there. However, as I walked even deeper into the woods I noticed a squirrel run right below the wooded path. At this moment, I realized the “good” impact of the wooded path. The “good” impact the wooded path had was its ability to provide shelter to several animals or plants that could otherwise be killed. Ultimately, the big lesson I took away from Johnson’s woods was the two sided affect humans have on nature. We are able to cultivate nature and simultaneously destroy it.

The Hill

I am writing this at the College of Wooster in the year 2019. More specifically, I am writing this at the top of the hill behind home plate of the baseball field, where the view gives rise to the city of Wooster and the countryside rolling hills that surround the town. Ultimately, I recognize this position on campus as nature because I have always felt connected to hills and the view they give. Hills like these give views that allow you to see other aspects of nature from a unique perspective.

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