Monday, November 2, 2009

What is Missing? Maya Lin

Finally a family photo. Taken at Hamlin woods this weekend. Jack balanced the digital camera on a rock and set the self timer. VOILA...

Today I walked back to this lovely conservation area. A wonderful 2 hour walk. Once I reached the woods, a remarkable program came on my headphones: an interview of Maya Lin (the creator of the Vietnam War memorial) about her new memorial What is Missing? It is a multimedia project in museums, on the web, in book form and more to document the 6th mass extinction on Earth, this one caused by habitat change caused by humans. What a remarkable project. What a remarkable woman. Listen to this amazing interview.

It was so meaningful walking slowly around this beautiful pond imagining the losses in habitat and plenty on the Earth. Part of her project recreates what old habitats were like by going back to the diaries of travelers and explorers of the past. For instance, Christopher Columbus in the late 1400s reports that he thought one of his ships was grounded but then realized he had just wandered into a huge group of turtles so thick it stopped his ship. Early European settlers in North America reported 12" oysters, 6' lobsters, and 40 lb wild turkeys. Her project will encourage people today to share their memories of changing environments. I remember hearing loons on Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks when I went to sleep away camp in the late 1970's. Evidently, they are nearly gone.

On the way home I began to pick up trash along the road. Here's what I collected. There could have been more but the bag (that I had found on the roadside) was full and I didn't wander more than a yard or so from the road.

What can you do to help the environment and preserve our planet and its species today? Do you really need to get a new disposable cup of coffee or bottle of water every day?


dccase said...

I refilled my coffee mug several times today. And it's over 20 years old.

I should wash it some day.

Andrea said...

You've had that coffee mug as long as I've known you. Bring it home tonight, and I'll wash it for you. I've never seen you litter!

heather said...

andrea, did you see this article? i can't sop thinking about this sad situation the size of texas, and then i read your post here. i am excited to listen to the interview you linked to.