Tag: Alabama Coast

1972

1972

When I was a teenager, caring people with vision were fighting for the health of the planet….clean air, clean water, and an environment free of a toxin that was creating a huge die-off of birds. Bald eagles, brown pelicans and other species were not able to reproduce because levels of DDT caused egg shells to be too thin. DDT accumulated in soil and river sediment and was finally banned from the US.

As I was standing in Gulf State Park watching a bald eagle feed her baby the other day, the year 1972 came to mind. I was 12 years old when DDT was outlawed.  I remember the outrage and grief I felt over the horrors happening in our country…even as a kid. But people paid attention to those fighting for health of all life and we made steady progress until the current administration was elected, even with setbacks suffered through various administrations. A friend of mine recently said, I would hug Ronald Reagan if he could replace Trump. And Reagan was no friend of the environment.

The bald eagle watched over the eaglet from above the nest, high in a pine tree. As it swayed in the spring winds, tears formed as I remembered….1972….hope as a young kid…. the environmental ‘movement’ that gained support for clean water, air, land, wildlife….and now? I found anger and frustration arising as I reflected on many hard-fought protections that are rapidly being swept away by people concerned only about wealth and power.

It seems completely absurd these hard-fought battles are having to be fought again. Just one example: During the Obama administration the EPA proposed banning chlorpyrifos because of evidence of some bad side-effects….it attacks the nervous systems of people and insects….all animals. Residues are still on the broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries and citrus when it reaches consumers. But less restrictive regulations on environmental concerns is the forte for the Trump administration….because it encourages businesses to grow (cheaper ways to produce food, oil, gas, etc etc etc etc). Damn the consequences to human health, wildlife, water, air, land…and this is only one example.

One of the lies we tell ourselves is, it’s all going to be okay. But is it? On a deep, spiritual level…of course it is. But our physical lives and those of generations to come are in danger. If we allow this kind of undoing of environmental regulations we are going against what research tells us, in black and white, will happen. And more importantly, what is morally and ethically the right course of action. But the ‘leaders’ of our country simply don’t consider clean air, water, land important issues.

I like to write about beauty and the feel-good stuff. Who wants to read about the rapid backslide into pollution? Toxicity? But I would betray the very beauty I treasure so dearly if I didn’t speak up, if I didn’t cry out, and remind us of where we have come from and where we are certainly headed if we don’t stop this reckless behavior.

Every time I cycle by the bald eagle nests, the year 1972 blinks in my mind like a neon sign. I can’t forget what it took for environmental laws to be birthed. Can you? Are you willing to risk the health of your children…grandchildren? What are you willing to give up so the wealthy and power-hungry in our country can thrive?

A Book with a Mission

A Book with a Mission

She arrived early, delivered October 31st. She weighed 605 pounds…all 1500 copies. Stella the Sea Turtle was birthed and is already making waves in the world.

The book was conceived from many hours spent under starlit skies on white sand at the Gulf of Mexico as loggerhead sea turtles taught me about instinctual wisdom. In my desire to share stories of nature with children to help them develop compassion and care, this story wanted to be told.

I sat in my meditation space with my laptop and waited for it to unfold. The words came, I listened and typed and never read it through. After the story finished, I still didn’t read it. I emailed it to my awesome illustrator friend and asked her to read it. She texted me back…. I’m crying! I thought maybe I should read it. I did…texted her back….I’m crying, too.

Both of us have been sea turtle volunteers for several years. The story that wanted to be told captures the essence of what it’s like to witness the birth of sea turtle hatchlings. It educates about their lives yet goes deeper into the greater mystery of life that we all face….finding our way back home.

Finding Home: The Life of Stella Sea Turtle has a path. Linda and I were simply the midwives that gave it form. Now it glides into the world with much grace and beauty.

You can order from my website SimoneLipscomb.com, purchase at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Tacky Jacks locations, Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach, Copper Kettle in Foley, Art Center of Foley….and other locations coming soon!

For each book sold, $3 goes to Friends of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge for sea turtle conservation on public lands.

Thanks for supporting kids, artists, public lands….and of course sea turtles.

The Not-Summer Season

The Not-Summer Season

Perhaps the most noticeable change of seasons in coastal Alabama is when we have less humidity in our air. Humidity seems to fuel everything here. Sodden, seemingly melting air is never missed by those of us who call the Gulf Coast home. By the end of the summer–October–we reach a dazed lack of tolerance for clothes sticking to our sweaty skin.

So it is with an audible sigh of relief that I report our first real cold front of the autumn season moved through yesterday. It was like a freight train from hell with tornados, lightning, winds and rain that fell in sheets rather than drops. The one or two earlier little fronts didn’t compare to this doozie.

I got in a good bicycle ride early in the morning but the early-arriving, pre-front clouds pelted me with the biggest raindrops I’ve ever seen. It felt like stinging nettles as I pushed and pedaled against a strong headwind to escape the rain.

It’s nice when the transition from one season to the next isn’t so violent. But sometimes change can be quite dramatic….and even painful. However, the outcome is definitely worth it.

I look forward to a chilly ride in the morning. Just hoping my cycling shoes are dried out and my helmet isn’t soggy. And might I add, Welcome Autumn!

Waves, Wind and Light

Waves, Wind and Light

Generally when we have a hurricane nearby it’s wet, humid, hot with southern winds…give or take a few directional degrees. But Irma was kept to our east by a strong cell of high pressure with cool, dry air. When she roared up Florida’s west coast her counterclockwise winds brought a strong northern flow our way.

I rode my bike before sunrise Sunday morning and the waves and winds weren’t kicking but I knew, after looking at the forecast, that by Sunday afternoon we’d have a strong north wind and larger waves.

All day I dreamed of larger waves rolling in from the south and the strong north wind pushing their crests back. I envisioned spray flying back over the spine of the waves. And sunlight illuminating the spray…don’t let me forget that visual that knocked around in my mind all day.

Late afternoon found me back at the beach with my camera. A strong wind was blowing and sand was intensely moving creating a hefty sand-blast of my bare feet and ankles….and any exposed skin. Changing lenses was dicey. One grain of sand and ugh….

The light was beautiful for cloud photos but I arrived a bit too early for the effects of spray and light I hoped to capture. I played around one area of Gulf State Park beach and then, closer to sunset, went to the state park pier.

Clouds made the light rather iffy and certainly did nothing for the white foam and cresting waves. I took a few images of a great blue heron and played with wave shots at the pier. With the rather boring light I nearly gave up on my vision.

And just as I was turning to trudge back through the soft, white sand to my car, the sun broke through a low bank of clouds and a wonderland appeared before my eyes. This is what I’ve been waiting for, I thought. WOW!

I spent a while whispering words of gratitude for the perfection of the scene. No rain….dry, cool air…interesting clouds and oh yes, those majestic waves with their tops swirled back over their spines.

Eventually I lowered my camera and stood witness to the beauty, the convergence of waves, wind and light. It’s always nice to dive deeply into my happy place.