Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day in the Park

As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can. – John Muir

Today is Earth Day, and yesterday was the original environmentalist and founder of the US National Parks system John Muir's birthday. What a happy pairing! To celebrate, I headed down to the Dykeman Spring Nature Park to get my feet on dirt and mud and humus, no pavement interfering with the contact between human and Earth. It's a cloudy, damp, and cool day, with occasional showers, which in a way is good for my photography because it brings out the lush greens and vibrant colors of the flowers and blossoms adorning Mama Gaia. There were also groups of school-age kids with garbage bags wandering the park, picking up tossed litter as part of Shippensburg's Earth Day festivities. Since some of them were walking out in the cattail swamp and down along some of the streamlets in the wetland to collect trash, I thought it a good idea to warn them to watch their toes; that's where three or four good-sized Snapping Turtles live!

I wandered through the whole park - the wetland area, the woods along the Upland Trail, and the meadow. And then I came back down the hill and headed home when the rain started coming down harder. And now I have some photos from the walk for you to enjoy. Happy Earth Day!

The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love. – John Muir

The Dogwoods over the creek at McLean House are blooming!
Entering the park along the Dykeman Walking Trail
Mama Redwing Blackbird was less than pleased at my presence
Meanwhile, Papa Redwing yelled at me from out in the cattails
The Redbuds in the park, like these along the creek, are in full bloom
White Campion along the Meadow Trail
The forest floor along the Upland Trail 
On the way home I passed by the north duck pond again
© 2017 by A. Roy Hilbinger 


  1. So lovely and appropriate for today😍

  2. Great photos, and weren't you nice to warn those kids about the snapping turtles!

    1. I couldn't help it! I saw this girl down in the cattails right where I'd seen The Behemoth dragging himself toward the bog pool only 3 days earlier, so I figured I'd better say something.