Last Saturday I had the privilege of speaking at the Lake Geneva Library’s Aldo Leopold Celebration. Leopold, who died April 21, 1948, is best known for his book, A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC, published after his death in 1949. The library looked out on the lake, a special place for the celebration.
I have an original edition of A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC and read from it often. Fitting for the season, Leopold wrote this about spring: “One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of a March thaw, is the spring.”
With Leopold, I look forward each spring to the geese flying high overhead in long V’s as they wing their way to their summer nesting grounds. I enjoy seeing them in the daytime, listening to their calls as their flocks sometimes spread from horizon to horizon. I especially enjoy hearing them on a still spring night, confidently moving north, announcing spring. Sometimes, if the moon is full and the sky is clear, I will see them flying in the moonlight. What a treat it is.
What are your first signs of spring? The return of the sandhill cranes? Bird song in the morning? The blush on a weeping willow tree? Pussy willows in the marshes? Click on comment and let us know.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: To value the land and the natural world demands an appreciation that goes deeper than knowing, deeper even than understanding—to the level that involves not only the head but also the heart.
WRITING WORKSHOP: The dates for my writing workshop at The Clearing in Door
County for 2010 are August 8-14. Contact www.theclearing.org for further information.
Wisconsin Studio, Overture Center, Madison, WI, Sunday, March 21, 1:30 p.m. (Old
UW-Baraboo, “Add Learning to Your Life” workshop for those 55 and older. March 25, 11:30 a.m. (Stories From the Land) Call 608-355-5234 for further information.
Westfield Public Library. March 31, 12:45-1:30. (Ames County Novels featuring Blue Shadows Farm)
Oakwood Retirement Center, Madison, April 6, 3:00 p.m. (The Good Old Days?)
Fox Cities Book Festival, April 13, 7:00 p.m., Menasha Public Library. (Blue Shadows Farm and Ames County Novels)
Hatch Public Library, Mauston, April 14, 1:00 p.m. (Ames County Novels, featuring Blue Shadows Farm)
Nature Book Bash, Saturday, April 17, 5:00 p.m. Wisconsin Rapids Community Theater at Rapids Mall in Wisconsin Rapids. (Old Farm)
Walworth-Big Foot Prairie Historical Society, banquet, April 22, 6:00 p.m. Walworth. Place to be announced. (One-Room Country Schools)
UW-Madison, Day on Campus: Food Summit, April 23, 2010. Memorial Union. Keynote speaker: 11:00 a.m. George McGovern. 3:00 p.m. A Brief Look at Wisconsin’s Agricultural History (Apps)
Kiel Public Library, April 28, 7:00 p.m. (Ames County Novels, featuring Blue Shadows Farm)
WEAC-Retired, April 30, 10:45-11:45 & 1:10-2:10. Sheraton Madison Hotel. (Stories From the Land)