Happy birthday to the Wild Edge! Yes, folks, today marks the first anniversary of my blog.
By now, all of you regular readers have been going outside frequently to see the wildlife and plants in your neighborhood. By now, all of you have been traveling frequently to the natural places nearby. By now, all of you have become enthusiastic eco-warriors, and are recruiting future young conservationists even as we speak.
No? Well, then, the Wild Edge hasn’t been doing its job!
I started this adventure with a mission statement:
The Wild Edge strives to open eyes, hearts and minds to the wonder of nature around us. So much of the time we go through our lives, caught up in the grind of daily life, without seeing the beauty that exists right under our noses. We don’t need to travel to exotic locales to encounter Mother Nature. She’s right here, sharing our everyday space, if we only take time to look.
Here at the edge of nature, you will encounter wild creatures and beautiful wildflowers, twisted trees and strange rock formations. You may learn things you never knew about things you never noticed before. And you just might be inspired to – GO OUTSIDE!
The mission hasn’t changed, but there is a little bit more to it. Perhaps it’s time to explain why I feel so strongly about getting people outdoors. It’s simple, really; our planet needs us.
I believe that to appreciate nature fully, you have to get outside and experience it. It’s one thing to watch a nature show on TV. It’s quite another to see firsthand the elegance of an egret, the radiance of a courting wood duck, the majesty of an ancient tree, or the delicacy of a tiny wildflower up close. It’s quite another to smell the tang of a salt marsh or the richness of the earth after a rain, to hear the chatter of the songbirds or the wind in the pines, to feel the sand between your toes. By experiencing the beauty of nature so close, you begin to understand the fragility of the Earth.
Of the one and a half million known species of living things, and millions more yet to be discovered, man is just one species. ONE. Yet, through our intelligence, technology and abundance, we have come to dominate the planet we share with ALL those other living things. And they have as much right to it as we do.
But all of those millions of other species lack something important: a voice. They cannot stand for themselves against the forces of power and greed that exploit our Earth. More and more are lost every day. Who will stand up for them? We need a healthy environment to nurture our bodies and our souls, yet pollution and climate change threaten our future. Development gobbles up our precious wild lands. Who will stand for Mother Earth?
It falls to us – you, me, anyone who enjoys and appreciates nature – to be that voice. But first we must see what’s at stake. Even more than us, it falls to the young, and the generations to come after them, to carry the fight forward. But first they have to look up from their cell phones!
My hope with the Wild Edge is to reach beyond fellow photographers and nature lovers, to those who may be more at home inside. If I can pique their interest with photos, words, humor and random fun facts, maybe they’ll go outside. If they go outside, maybe they’ll fall in love with the wildness around them. If they fall in love… Well, the rest is up to them.
So, the Wild Edge has been running for a year now. Has it worked? Has anyone out there been intrigued enough by something you’ve seen or read to go to a park, preserve or other natural place yourself? Do you now make a habit of it? Do you recycle, pick up litter, support land preservation? Are you encouraging young conservationists? Will anyone stand up for Mother Earth and her creatures?
If so, great! You have the appreciation of a grateful blog mistress. If not, keep reading the Wild Edge. Maybe something in the days and weeks to come will spark your interest and inspire you to GO OUTSIDE!