Earth Day at Picnic Point – 2020
Doris Dubielzig, always ready for an adventure with a strong cause, made special plans for this Earth Day week, in lieu of the 50th year Earth Day conference that had been planned for the Monona Terrace. Doris reports:
"My husband, Dick Dubielzig, and I met the young naturalist and Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve Board Member, Olympia Mathiaparanam, at the entrance to Picnic Point at 5:45 am this morning. Olympia had scraped frost from her windshield, and the thermometer still read in the mid-30s. I was glad for my long underwear and down jacket. We walked down the quiet path toward the end of the Point to observe the sunrise in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Fifty years ago, on the first Earth Day, observers gathered an hour earlier, at 4:45 am and greeted the sunrise at Picnic Point with readings from Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Henry David Thoreau and religious texts. Our group of 3 paled in comparison, but complied with the restrictions on organized gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On our way, Olympia pointed out with pleasure a solitary grebe floating close to the lakeshore, and an osprey perched on a high branch overlooking University Bay. She conscientiously entered her bird sightings into eBird through her cellphone. In addition to the changed appearance of the path and woods due to the dawn’s dim light, we noted the fresh stumps from the many ash trees that had been removed since I last walked the trail. When we reached the grand fire circle at the end, a vast cloudless sky appeared above us. At 6:05, on schedule, the sun’s rim appeared above the horizon on the far side of Lake Mendota. As the sun rose, the light strengthened and its rays warmed the appearance of all they touched. Fifty years earlier, Earth Day founder, Gaylord Nelson proclaimed, “Our goal…is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all living creatures.”* What better place to appreciate Earth’s biodiversity than the Lakeshore Nature Preserve at this time."
The group sighted the following bird. Also see our BLOG page with recent photos of many of these in the bay and along Picnic Point Path
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