I am looking forward to the 2002 Sandhill Crane Festival, January 18 and 19 at Birchwood, Tennessee. Here are some photos from the 2019 Sandhill Crane Festival.
Another page from my research on Robert Sparks Walker
1910 – 1917 Walker, Robert Sparks, Southern Fruit Grower Scrapbook, Archival Materials.
Either Walker or someone close to him was a meticulous keeper of scrapbooks. The Tennessee State Library and Archives holds the Southern Fruit Grower Scrapbook, a collection of correspondence Walker received between 1910 and 1917 as publisher and editor of said magazine. The Chattanooga Public Library has two scrapbooks of articles on the Brainerd Mission. Mary Bell Fisher mentions having examined “The Walker Scrapbooks,” in her Thesis for the Master of Arts Degree at Peabody College of Education.
On October 13, 2019 the author examined the only copy of the Southern Fruit Grower Scrapbook in a restricted area at the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville, Tennessee. A guard provided the author with a key to a locker for storage since no pens, cameras, cell phones or extraneous items are permitted in the archival portion of the library. The author was permitted to bring in a mechanical pencil. The archivist provided a pair of white cotton gloves to wear while examining the document and loose-leaf paper for notes, one sheet at a time.
The scrapbook consists of correspondence Robert Sparks Walker received relevant to his role as editor and publisher of the Southern Fruit Grower magazine. The letters offered thanks for copies received as well as accolades stating how the magazine had benefited the recipients in business. A few included subscription renewals. Many from government agencies stated the value of the magazine for agriculture and horticulture in their respective states. Those from academic institutions stated its value for their students. Most were typed on letterhead stationery. A few were handwritten on stationery and some on lined paper.
Walker acquired 50% ownership of the magazine in 1900 and served as editor and publisher until he sold his interest in 1921. For further information on the years Walker spent editing Southern Fruit Grower, consult the early chapters of Robert Sparks Walker: The Unconventional life of an East Tennessee Naturalist by Alexandra Walker Clark.
A list of just a few of the correspondents whose letters are preserved in this scrapbook follows:
U. S. Department of Agriculture, C.B. Bracket, Pomologist
South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station
The Commonwealth of Virginia, State Crop Pest Commission
The University of Kentucky, Agricultural Experiment Station
The University of Tennessee, Experiment Station
Georgia Experiment Station
The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institution
For the Last Carolina Parakeet
As published in the literary magazine, Number One, Gallatin, Tennessee
I imagine the loneliness of your aviary
there at the Cincinnati Zoo where your
predecessor, the last Passenger Pigeon,
flew off to oblivion just a few years earlier.
One voice is not a choir.
You were part of a social species,
descending by the thousands,
on fields to consume cockleburs,
or orchards for luscious fruits.
One voice is not a choir.
Some labelled you a pest
and pursued with shotguns.
Audubon noticed your species
in decline even in his bygone days.
One voice is not a choir.
No welcoming song of your fellows
greeted your waning days. Does your
skin adorn a museum, just as your
ancestors’ feathers adorned ladys’ hats?
On voice is not a choir.
It saddens me to think my adopted home
of Tennessee once knew the calls and colors
of a native parrot. One scientist titled
an article about your kin, “Forever Gone.”
No voices remain in the choir.
Erosion: Essays of Undoing
Terry Tempest Williams
Reviewed by Ray Zimmerman
5 Star Review - The book is well written in a literary nonfiction style
Terry Tempest Williams is devoted to the preservation of public lands. She mourns the recent undoing of their protection. In the final section tells us that the time for anger is past, it is time for healing. She sees healing as restoration. She reveals a few bright spots of healing the landscape near the end of the book.
Family plays a part of this book, as is true for most of her books. She mourns the death of her brother Dan. He relationship with her father and deceased mother and grandmothers are also significant factors in the narrative. She speaks of her Mormon upbringing and her response to the Church's views and policies toward women, as well as non-white, and non-binary persons.
Bears Ears National Monument appears periodically in the book, but is ever present in the subtext. She documents efforts to preserve the area going back to Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes (Served 1933 to 1946). Secretary of Interior Stewart Udall picked up the mission. President Obama finally preserved it as a National Monument in the final days of his administration. Donald Trump gutted the monument early in his administration. Williams mocks Trump's statement that he was giving the land back to the American people, stating that they are public lands and one cannot give us what is already ours.
AS Published in the literary journal Number One, Gallatin, TN
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Wall
Copyright Ray Zimmerman, 2019
1.Robert frost and his neighbor repair their stone wall boundary.
The neighbor declares the results good.
Frost contemplates a new poem.
2. Migrating Red-winged Blackbirds impale themselves
on slats erected along the U.S – Mexico border.
The Department of Homeland Security
declares the nation safe from blackbirds.
3. Manchu invaders encounter the Great Wall of China;
proceed with their war of conquest.
4. Thanks to the popular band, Pink Floyd,
we are all just bricks in the wall.
5. President Ronald Reagan stands on Berlin Soil,
says, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
6. President Thomas Jefferson assures
the Baptist committee of Danbury, Connecticut
that they will be free to worship as they see fit
and not subject to regulation by the Calvinist majority.
He proclaims a wall of separation between church and state.
7. Presidential candidate Donald Trump promises
to build a wall along the Mexican border;
fails to mention that construction began years ago.
8. Three Little Pigs build walls of straw, sticks, and brick.
Big Bad Wolf holds barbeque.
The third pig declines the invitation.
9. The Speaker of the House refuses to let the President
address the nation from the house chambers,
There must be a wall enforcing the separation of powers.
10. Jesus extols the value of building walls on rock foundations
advises against building on sand.
11. The descendants of Isaac gather at the Western Wall;
offer prayers and lamentations:
hope for the rebuilding of the Temple.
12. Followers of Mohammed gather within the walls
of the Dome of the Rock;
Pray for preservation of the mosque.
13. Hacker interface penetrates firewalls at will,
takes down Fortune 500 web sites.
This poem appeared in the Fall - 2019 issue of The Avocet.
Great Horned Owl
In Birds of America, their visage seems fierce.
In person, these birds can be much worse.
I have heard them called the terror of the skies.
They eat anything that swims, runs, or flies.
When they move in, other owls get quiet.
You see, they are on the great horned’s diet.
Neither eagle nor heron is safe from their grasp.
The owl eats their chicks, quick as an asp.
These birds build no nests, find a hollow tree,
or take over another’s nest rent free.
Through cold and snow, owl chicks grow fast.
They fly in March; the nesting is past.
The skunk is among their items of prey.
You will want to avoid them the following day.
This morning I shared my porch table with a small gray spider, perhaps a quarter inch long. The spider was fully formed, as they are even at hatching. I am tempted to say that it was an adult, given the time of year, but the unseasonably hot days of September make the statement less certain.
The spider seemed indisposed to stay, crossing to the far end. When I interposed my pen in the path, the arachnid raised the foremost pair of legs for a tactile examination. Not interested, the spider turned back toward me.
When I placed an open book in the path, the spider climbed up onto the page, which provided a map of the world. Uninterested in the land masses of North and South America, the intrepid spider crossed the Pacific Ocean, north to south.
Not satisfied with this an adventure, the spider crossed to the opposing page which held a map of the world illustrated with time zones. Continuing its southerly movement, the spider followed the Hawaii/Tahiti time zone which includes a bit of Alaska. The huge land mass of Alaska crosses three times zones, a feat in which it is aided by the convergence of the zones at their northern limits. Greenland likewise crosses three zones, but neither offers competition for Russia, which crosses nine, sharing time zones with Cairo, Baghdad, Dubai, Karachi, Dhaka, Bangkok, Beijing, Tokyo, and Canberra.
My spider showed interest in none of these distant lands, simply traveling across Hawaii and Tahiti. It did not even enter the adjacent Alaska Time Zone or the Samoa Time Zone. I suppose there is something to be said for singleness of purpose.
The Hawaii/Tahiti time zone is, by the way, eleven hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and one hour ahead of Samoa. So far as I could tell, the spider was unimpressed with these facts or the recent travels. Some people say Grandmother Spider crossed the world and brought back the sun. In that case, I suppose a bit of globe-trotting is not so unusual for a creature so small.
When I interposed my pen again, this spider happily accepted a ride down to the floor of the porch and went about the business of being a spider. I felt no revulsion at the spider’s exoskeleton, so different from my endoskeleton, or its venomous bite by which it captures prey. I thought of its similarities to a tick, a scorpion, and a crab, all distant relatives of the spider, with which I avoid contact, but without ill will. They fascinate me and I wish for more time to observe them.
When it comes to love, birds take a satellite approach.
Bobolink males give 100 percent of their hunting efforts
to their first nest and their first mate.
A satellite female may appear, and then another.
Each builds her own nest,
surreptitiously mates with the male.
Each subsists on twenty-five percent of the male’s efforts.
The original nest gets fifty percent.
Later arriving females may receive as little at ten percent of the hunter’s results.
By contrast, some warbler species have satellite males.
A strong singer quickly attracts a mate and egg laying commences.
Satellite males build nests surrounding the strong singer’s territory.
Other females attracted to the strong singers voice nest with satellite males.
Twenty-five to fifty percent of the nestlings in satellite broods
are related to the strong singer at the center of the action.
Birds are not at all like humans.
© Ray Zimmerman 2019
In an ancient high-rise no longer prime office space,
a tattoo parlor adorns the first floor, sits opposite a shop
where a weaver works at her loom; awaits customers.
High atop the building, an unplanned resident builds a nest.
The peregrine feels hunger, jets above a decorative fountain
where a man, dashing home from work gives a wistful whistle,
feeds popcorn to pigeons whose stomachs are better accustomed to grain.
The pigeons dare not fly for the falcon descends at 200 miles per hour,
slams a fist into an unwary bird who tumbles to earth.
Falcon does not hesitate to rend flesh for she has nestlings to feed.
The tattoo artist and the weaver see the falcon, contemplate new artsy designs.