Self portrait after a thoroughly soaking 2 mile return walk in pouring, warm rain (my friend Tiff dear is encouraging us to turn the cameras on ourselves. Of course she does so in opera gowns. I'm completely rain washed and bare)
I walked this morning at dawn under low grey billows of clouds. It's nearly 80 degrees with 100% humidity before 7 am. The air so heavy I can feel it resisting my arms as I walk. The song playing in the background of my mind today it was 59th Street Bridge "No deeds to do. No promises to keep. I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep. Let the morning time drop all its petals on me. Life, I love you,.." Written before I was even born- but apropos for a lifetime.
It occurred to me that I am species rich. As species rich as nearly anyone on this planet. This morning I encountered- closely:
Mammal: Deer and fawn, muskrat (still watching the sunrise to the east), dogs, mule, cows, humans.
Birds: Numerous, including; Yellow-headed blackbirds (5 feet away on cattails), Pelicans, ducks, seagulls, sparrows, swallow, many more
Reptiles: Got skunked - didn't see a turtle, snake, or salamander this morning. (Actually got literally "skunked" on yesterday's walk when Sunny had a completely silent battle to the death with a skunk. She won- but bloodied and reeking of fresh skunk spray. I couldn't have been more than 100 ft away when this battle took place and all I saw was my bloodied dog)
We are living through one of the planets greatest global extinction event-- known as the 6th Extinction. Human activity, not natural events, is the distinction between this and the previous five extinctions. Some estimates have the extinction rate at 30,000 species per year or 3 per hour. The following is from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America...
There is consensus in the scientific community that the current massive degradation of habitat and extinction of many of the Earth's biota is unprecedented and is taking place on a catastrophically short timescale. Based on extinction rates estimated to be thousands of times the background rate, figures approaching 30% extermination of all species by the mid 21st century are not unrealistic (1-4), an event comparable to some of the catastrophic mass extinction events of the past (5, 6). --Kathy notes- they are talking about dinosaurs- the 5th Extinction--
And so the Kings Play Chess on (our) Fine Green Sphere. I don't trust those kings and this is no game.
4th of July, 2010