Friday, March 5, 2010

Hays Preserve, Finis

Today's missive is a gentle goodbye (and I'll return) to the Hays Preserve. From their website: "The Hays Nature Preserve and the Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary together form the City's largest and most undeveloped parklands. We have over 10 miles of trails that wind through bottomlands, swamps, and sloughs, suitable for hiking or mountain biking. Horses are also welcome on the northern trails. Come explore our hardwood forest, walk our fields, and discover our wetlands. Wildlife abounds with deer, rabbits, raccoons, and resident and migratory birds, in fact, this natural area is an important part of the North Alabama Birding Trail. Join us in our efforts to preserve this valuable asset for our children and learn something along the way."

In fact, upon arriving home after my all too brief visit I downloaded a wonderful map that outlined a myriad of hiking trails yet to be taken. You can download maps to the Hays Preserve and Goldsmith Shiffman Wildlife Sanctuary here if you're interested in visiting, which I highly recommend.

Reflections continue to mystify and captivate my attention. You'll see a lot here in my final piece about Hays Preserve. Because I am passionate about land preservation but own no clever quotes of my own I want to leave you all with wise words from some wise folks in between the pretty pictures.

"Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way;
she better understands her own affairs than we."

Michel de Montaigne, translated

"We never know the worth of water till the well is dry."

Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.
When we see land as a community to which we belong,
we may begin to use it with love and respect."

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man
if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature
and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority."

Elwyn Brooks White, Essays of E.B. White, 1977

"When you defile the pleasant streams
And the wild bird's abiding place,
You massacre a million dreams
And cast your spittle in God's face."

~John Drinkwater

"When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves."

David Orr

"There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man
than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before."

Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion and Other Essays

Bat houses at Hays Preserve

From the Organization for Bat Conservation "Bats are extremely important. Yet due to years of unwarranted human fear and persecution, bats are in alarming decline. By putting up a bat house you are helping by giving them a home. You will also benefit from having fewer yard and garden pests, and will enjoy learning about bats and sharing your knowledge with friends and family.

As the primary predators of night-flying insects, bats play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature. And, as consumers of vast numbers of pests, they rank among humanity’s most valuable allies. A single little brown bat can catch hundreds of mosquito-sized insects an hour, and a typical colony of big brown bats can protect local farmers from the costly attacks of 18 million root-worms

"It is imperative to maintain portions of the wilderness untouched
so that a tree will rot where it falls,
a waterfall will pour its curve without generating electricity,
a trumpeter swan may float on uncontaminated water -
and moderns may at least see what their ancestors knew
in their nerves and blood."

Bernand De Voto, Fortune, June 1947

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."

Ansel Adams

"Take nothing but pictures.
Leave nothing but footprints.
Kill nothing but time."

~Motto of the Baltimore Grotto, a caving society

"Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect."

Chief Seattle, 1855

That's it from Hays Preserve. These reflections were mesmerizing, and the sense of place there is peaceful, open and honest. Please make every effort to support Hays Preserve and the Goldsmith Shiffman Wildlife Sanctuary. Quotes come from Quote Garden.


Bo Macksion said...

Lovely photos. Lovely place. Want to see it when it is green too!

SO true, we do not value water until we have none. We do not appreciate our partners until they are no longer by our sides. We do not appreciate the sun shining in the sky until the gray skies have turned the day cold.

All to say--live in the moment! Yes! A great day to you, Deb.

(I am laughing. My parakeets have been quite solemn this morning, but I opened your blog and the music started, and they are chirping and dancing and playing with each other. Ha.)

Jenny said...

Out of all those 'oh so true' writings, the Seattle Chief's words resonated with me the most! Great post Debi with some wonderful reflections. Maybe you and Evie can go back to this reserve together sometime....

blog with no name said...

"Shi Kaya" It's called. I am the land and the land is me. If all of Humankind would walk in beauty, the earth would heal us, and we would heal the land...

Eve said...

A wonderful finale Debi! Love the quotes, love the pictures. I'm ready to return to Hays!

The Garden Ms. S said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this series. It is such a beautiful place that I actually found it rather moving :)

Your photos capturing the reflections in this beautiful blue-green water are stunning. Thank you for sharing this wondrous journey!

Deadhorse said...

Very moving post here Deb. Fantastic photos. Point of interest, my second wife Julie and I took in foster children for many years and many for long term care. We had three Native American sisters in our care. The girls were decendants of Chief Seattle.

Diane said...

what a lovely collection of reflections. So contemplative. Lovely my dear.

kendalee said...

There really is something quite magical about a reflection - and these are gorgeous. So gentle.

debsgarden said...

I have enjoyed all your posts on Hays Preserve. It is indeed a special place, and i look forward to visiting it. I appreciate all of the quotes. Thanks a million!


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