Happy Earth Day 2013!

Happy Earth Day! Have a great day–peace & blessings & well-being to everyone especially Mother Earth.

“In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part and parcel of God. The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and accidental: to be brothers, to be acquaintances, master or servant, is then a trifle and a disturbance. I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.” ~ Emerson

I very much appreciate my exposure to wild animals. I love hearing the birds in the morning. I love seeing squirrels. I love the deer, skunks, raccoons, chipmunks—all the wild animals of Ohio. It is even said that there are coyotes. There are groundhogs… there are so many animals here.

“The Buckeye State is rich in mammals. White-tailed deer, badger, mink, raccoon, red and gray foxes, coyote, beaver, eastern cottontail, woodchuck, least shrew, and opossum are found throughout the state’s five wildlife districts; the bobcat, woodland jumping mouse, and red-backed mole are among many species with more restricted habitats. Common birds include the eastern great blue heron, green-winged teal, mourning dove, eastern belted kingfisher, eastern horned lark, blue-gray gnatcatcher, eastern cowbird, and a great variety of ducks, woodpeckers, and warblers; the cardinal is the state bird, and the ruffed grouse, mostly confined to the Allegheny Plateau, is a favorite game species. Bass, pickerel, perch, carp, pike, trout, catfish, sucker, and darter thrive in Ohio’s lakes and streams. The snapping, midland painted, and spiny soft-shelled turtles, five-lined skink, northern water snake, midland brown snake, eastern hognose, and eastern milk snake appear throughout Ohio. The northern copperhead, eastern massasauga (swamp rattler), and timber rattlesnake are Ohio’s only poisonous reptiles. Fowler’s toad, bullfrog, green pickerel frog, and marbled and red-backed salamanders are common native amphibians.” ~ City-data.com

It bothers me that although I advocate for the environment, I don’t know very much about the animals around me. I would like to learn more about the wildlife here. I don’t know which birds make particular sounds—I would like to know that. So I’ve found some online resources and I would like to spend some time memorizing bird songs.

Here’s a nice publication by ODNR about common birds in Ohio…

And here’s a website curated by Ohio universities and colleges with digital resources, including bird songs…

Since the cardinal is Ohio’s state bird, here is its song.

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I’m celebrating Earth Day today at Earth Fest at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. It’s the longest running Earth Day celebration event, and I’ve not seen the Fairgrounds yet. There’s a wind turbine, environmental exhibits, food, rides, a petting zoo. It runs from 10-5 and admission is very reasonable–$5 for adults, $3 for kids and kids under 2 are free.

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Here are a couple items you might do to help Mother Earth in Ohio:

Senate legislators are going to hear some testimony April 23 pertaining to clean energy development. First Energy has been lobbying against clean energy, so it is good to add to the pro-environment side of this deliberation.

Write letter here…

The Sierra Club and 350.org have a goal of sending a million comments to the State Department on why they are to not approve the Keystone XL Pipeline project.

You can send a comment conveniently here… 

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