Friday, March 29, 2013

Joe Neal cites passage from Neil Compton's writing

We have what looks like an all-day rain in Fayetteville today -- good set up for spring migration. The Cerulean Warblers of Cave Mountain just gotta be headed our way! But until then:

I have been using some of the rain/lightning time to read text and to enjoy photographs in Neil Compton's The High Ozarks A Vision of Eden (Ozark Society Foundation 1982). We no longer have Dr Compton to take us on a hike up his favorite Buffalo River trail, but we do have this book, including his thoughts about what all of this means -- ALL, in the broad sense. 

Here is some text from the book's epilogue. Ah text -- and I do not mean texting. It didn't exist in his time and he did not think in brief:

Those who draw inspiration from reflection on the processes of creation and the discovery of evidence of the genesis of the land and its inhabitants, will not explore the deep recesses of these ancient hills without reward. To come upon a mass of fossil fuquoids (algal impressions), a coral head, or an array of archimedes screws (molluscs) in a rocky creek bed, is a basic satisfaction to almost all and begets an enduring fascination in some. But all evidence is not present as fossils frozen in stone. The living proof is all about, even yet, in forms little changed over many millions of years. The very first of all living green things is here for us to see, the blue-green and green and brown algae waving in the current of Ozark springs and in all our ponds and creeks at certain seasons. We are not attracted by its sliminess but should recall that this was the first oxygen-generating life form in any quantity, thus initiating the change from the stifling, reducing atmosphere of the newborn earth to the life giving oxidizing air that we now breathe. This humble photosynthetic plant has been in residence here, unchanged in form and function, in seas, lakes, and rivers for over two billion years . . .

There are many who are emotionally convinced that we played no part at allthat we arrived by special arrangement and thus are alien to this natural worldwhich we may think is here for our immediate utility onlyBut somehow we must all come to realize that our fate has been, and'always will beinseparable from what transpires on the face of the earth and above it and within it. We were indeed therea fragile tissuein that amnionthat ancient sea of nativityalong with a myriad othersbut on our way to understandingWith the powethat we now find in our hands it is imperative that we exercise that ability to knoand manipulate the truth of things, which has finally come to usnot for the betterment ofourselves aloneWmust include as well an understanding and protection of this whole glorious process so well revealed herin this lovely and provident land.

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