Monday, August 27, 2012

Oakstock 2012

Oakstock 2012.
Welcome to the Fall Semester at Peru State College

This past Thursday, August 23, CAB sponsored the Oakstock concert and related activities, which included a club fair, lots of food, and good music.

Once again, Jason Levasseur performed and served as the gathering's master of ceremonies, and he both enjoyed himself and did an excellent job.

As usual, I enjoyed this first major event of the new term and took quite a few photographs, publishing them on both Facebook and at Flickr, where you can download large files.

If you want to tag photographs, please simply send me a friend request so that I do not have to go through all the photographs to approve your request to tag. And as the photographs indicate, we all enjoyed a fine darn time.

I also published on You Tube a short video that features
excerpts from the five acts that I saw: Jason Levasseur, Jeffrey James, Mal Blum, Preston Pugmire, and Soul Specimen.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Land Ethic Leadership Prograph at the Aldo Leopold Foundation

Aldo Leopold's Cabin

Land Ethic Leaders Group

The final Thursday and Friday--August 9 and 10--of my summer stay in Wisconsin, I took part in an exciting program organized by the Aldo Leopold Foundation near Baraboo, WI.

At the center, I joined with foundation staff members and
over twenty others pictured above for the Land Ethic Leaders Program.

In addition to learning a lot, I enjoyed myself a great deal, especially because since around 1968, when I first read A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold has remained one of my heroes, silly as the statement might sound.

This work and others by Leopold remain popular, and you can read selections from his works. I am glad to see that one of my favorite of his essays--and probably one of his most famous--is available in its entirety on line, Thinking Like a Mountain.

“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one
lives alone in a world of wounds.”

The Land Ethic is also available, along with a list of some of Aldo Leopold's quotations about his work.
Over the course of two days, members of the group read and discussed a variety of essays and took part in presentations to ready each person to lead similar discussions. In addition, we spent time near Aldo Leopold's cabin where we all helped in the process of clearing an area that will eventually support native plants.

Linda and I had visited this area previously, but we could not view inside the cabin. This time around, however, I fulfilled a long-standing wish and walked inside the former chicken coop. What absolute fun.
At the conclusion of the two-day program, each participant received a certificate and a license to show The Green Fire, Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time, a documentary about Aldo Leopold and his work. This brief video offers an introduction to The Green Fire.

I look forward to showing the video in a variety of places, including in an honors course I will teach this spring on Nature.

In addition, I hope to invite actor and storyteller Jim
Pfitzer to campus to entertain and edify with his dramatic presentation, Aldo Leopold, A Standard of Change. The night before the two-day program began, Jim offered his impersonation of Aldo Leopold at the cabin, but I could not attend.

I posted a series of photographs from the Land Ethic Leaders Program and look
forward now to putting into effective use all that we discussed over the two days with a wonderful group of people.

Let me know if you want to see The Green Fire or know of groups that might be interested in seeing the video and learning about Aldo Leopold and the Land Ethic.

Our Early August Trip to Colorado and Other Summer Photographs

The Wednesday after turning in grades for my summer classes in Children's Literature, Linda and I drove from Peru, NE, to Boulder, CO.

Our summer began with a trip to Eugene, OR, with Cary and Leah and concluded with our going to Colorado for a couple days to see them.

Wednesday evening, after securing one of the few remaining hotel rooms in Boulder--lessen learned--we ate at outside at a
great restaurant on Pearl Street. I enjoyed specially the Pisco Sour and the mussel chowder.

Thursday, after breakfast in Estes Park, Cary drove Linda's new Toyota to Rocky Mountain National Park. Linda and I went along for the ride. I look forward to a return tip to the park, next time with my fly rod.

As I hope the posted photographs illustrate, this national park is spectacular in many places. Next time, we will make sure that we have more time to, among other things, take short hikes at Bear Lake, for example, to visit a couple other beautiful areas such as Alberta Falls.

The next day we spent with Leah and had planned to visit the Denver Zoo or The Colorado Museum of Natural History. First, after breakfast, however, we stopped at a Verizon store to look at a new telephone for

Well, after three hours, we left with a new phone for each member of the family, so I now learn the ins and outs of my new iPhone--to go with iPad, iPod, and MacBook Pro.

So, fun trips with Linda, Cary, and Leah provided rather wonderful bookends for my summer.

Linda and I began the summer with multiple and enjoyable bike rides to Rush Lake and to Horicon Marsh. The excessive heat, however, put an end to that fun over the final month or so of the summer. But we enjoyed the rides and, when possible, working in the yard and our small gardens.

I collected some of the images from this part of our long, hot, and
dry summer. Among other things, this summer at Horicon Marsh, we saw plenty of Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and I managed to get at least one pretty clear shot.

This particular quest for an excellent picture of this bird will continue next summer.