EDITORIAL

by Adelia Ritchie, Winter 2019

EDITORIAL

by Adelia Ritchie, Winter 2019

 

On vacation in Costa Rica recently, I walked the city of San José one morning and visited a famous museum of pre-Colombian civilization, back when indigenous tribes lived in harmony with nature and as a vital part of it.

Loosely translated (my Spanish is marginal, at best), a sign posted at the entrance to the museum states that it “was built in recognition of the interactions that we have with all other things and with the world. This process is complex, integral and nonlinear. It is the way that we have lived since before we were born.”

The lands belonging to indigenous tribes, especially in Central and South America, are under pressure from agriculture and development, and a way of life in harmony with Nature is disappearing. Sometimes I want to just toss everything and go live in the jungle with them. A bit extreme, but these people understand and live their lives by this thing, these concepts, these connections and relationships that we “civilized” people struggle so hard to grasp, explain, teach.

Image by Bernardo Rosado from Pixabay

In Costa Rica the saying is, “If you kill something, you have to eat it.”  This includes that six-inch tarantula I found living peacefully under the bathroom sink, or the random cucaracha scurrying across the kitchen counter at night.  These people understand that all creatures are valuable, even essential, to the web of life, to the total ecosystem that sustains all life on this planet. It’s a delicate balance where every action has an impact on everything else.  I’m not saying we should invite tarantulas to come live with us, but if one does, show her out kindly.  She deserves to live too.

See a story about how important yellow-spotted millipedes are despite their toxicity.

In the very first issue of Salish Magazine there is a simplistic diagram of just a few of the connection pathways among just a few creatures that can be found in and around the Salish Sea.  Imagine for a moment adding birds and plants and other land and sea creatures to this diagram.  Then add another layer about the water cycle and how the atmosphere itself affects and is affected by everything it touches.  Close your eyes and imagine how the trade winds bring fresh oxygen from the South American jungles as a result of sunlight falling on jungle plants.  If you can imagine this, perhaps you can imagine what the indigenous tribes of all the Americas understood: all creatures, all cycles, all actions and reactions are indelibly connected and have impacts on everything else on this planet.  It’s a fragile system, in delicate balance.

See the article referred to above, “Visualizing an Ecosystem.”

At Salish Magazine, our goal is to inspire people to get to know Nature a little better, and hopefully that will lead them to choose ways of life that nurture and sustain Nature—to respect all living things, to appreciate each creature’s vital role in its local ecosystem and how each ecosystem is connected to all the others around the world: by winds, by currents, by migrations.  Tread lightly.  There is no Planet B.

Adelia Ritchie grew up on a northern Virginia farm, with horses, cattle, dogs, and her pet pig Porky, who ran the whole show. A long-time resident of the great Pacific Northwest, Adelia is a serial entrepreneur, scientist, educator, and artist. She received a B.S. in Chemistry and Physics from the University of West Florida, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from Northwestern University. In June 2017, she completed the Climate Reality Leadership training program under the Hon. Al Gore, and currently works with educators, organizers and strategists to promote a deeper understanding of the science of climate change and its impacts on the complex ecological web of life. Adelia resides in Hansville, WA, with her garden, her dogs and a flock of very entertaining chickens.

Table of Contents, Issue #6, Winter 2019

Birds of Bufflehead Pond

Birds of Bufflehead Pond

by Adelia Ritchie, Winter 2019Painting by Adelia Ritchieby Adelia Ritchie, Winter 2019  Such big ideas we had when we first set out to inhabit Bufflehead Pond Farm! The place had not been properly tended for years and the local ecology (mostly blackberries and...

Purple Martins

Purple Martins

by Gene Bullock, Winter 2019Photo by John F. WilliamsPhoto by John F. Williamsby Gene Bullock, Winter 2019  Native Americans learned long ago that if they hung hollow gourds around their villages, they could attract Martins to nest in them. The birds repaid them by...

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

by Nancy Sefton, Winter 2019Photo by Philip HutchersonPhoto by Philip Hutchersonby Nancy Sefton, Winter 2019  As I floated in my kayak, I spotted a great blue heron perched on a mass of partially submerged roots. Suddenly it stabbed the water and came up with a small...

Poems-6

Poems-6

Winter 2019Winter 2019     Haiku by Nancy Rekow   One heron standing.Mist hangs low in the valley.I will write to you.Painting by Kathleen Faulknerby Nancy TaylorIn Beacon Hill Park, Victoria B.C.             I watch            a bald eaglelight...

Citizen Science

Citizen Science

by Todd Ramsey, Winter 2019Photo by Eric Wagner, COASST staffPhoto by Eric Wagner, COASST staffby Todd Ramsey, Winter 2019  It all started out so innocently. We just wanted to pick up trash on the beach after a storm. Soon after that we discovered COASST.org (Coastal...

Foto Tour 2

Foto Tour 2

Showcase of Participant Photos North Kitsap Heritage Park from September 18, 2019  Showcase of Participant Photos North Kitsap Heritage Park from September 18, 2019 On September 18, 2019, WSU Extension in Kitsap County hosted a Forest Foto Expedition led by John F....

Should I Stay?

Should I Stay?

by Sharon Pegany, Winter 2019Artwork by Catherine WhalenArtwork by Catherine Whalenby Sharon Pegany, Winter 2019  turn of time rustle of feather echoing songs of beak and bill listen afresh to the voices among usWinter may be a quiet season in the Salish Sea region,...

Seabirds Are Cool

Seabirds Are Cool

by Julia Parrish, Winter 2019Photo by Lee TenneboePhoto by Lee Tenneboeby Julia Parrish, Winter 2019  In Washington State, there is a bewildering abundance of seabirds. The seabirds of the surf zone that always capture my imagination are in the Alcid family: murres,...

The Russians Are Coming

The Russians Are Coming

by Paul Pegany, Winter 2019Photo by Catherine WhalenPhoto by Catherine Whalenby Paul Pegany, Winter 2019  The Russians are indeed coming! They are winged, white, and ready to spend their winter along the shores of the Salish Sea in northwest Washington. As the rain...

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Nature's Pest Control by Adelia Ritchie, Winter 2019 Photos by John F. Williams except where notedNature's Pest Control by Adelia Ritchie, Winter 2019 Photos by John F. Williams except where notedClose cousin of the purple martin is our hard-working summertime...

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