Where Have All The Flowers Gone? Long Time Passing

Nov 9, 2023 | The Sandpiper

Article by Annette Brownell

Where have all the flowers gone?  – long time passing
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind.
I’m sure most of us remember this song by Pete Seeger. I grew up on this stuff – along with This Land is Your Land, If I had a Hammer…

I grew up on a small farm in Terryville, with Buttercup Dairy in my backyard.  Coming from a patriotic immigrant family who loved and cared for the land and the living creatures that came with it, I developed a desire to save everything, make sure it’s fed and has a warm home.

I can remember what great sorrow I felt when, as a child, I learned about the Dodo bird. How can it be no more – extinct? I took the Bald Eagle story hard and still cry when I think of its amazing recovery. What about the Bob White in my own backyard? That familiar call. I was always trying to catch one – just in case it needed care.

When I read John Turner’s article in The Kingbird on the Ruffed Grouse on Long Island, that same frustration welled up in me. My first experience with Ruffed Grouse, as a pretty new birder, was when I won a Don Eckleberry print at our Audubon dinner of a Ruffed Grouse. I was just so intrigued by this unusual prairie bird. 

But we don’t have prairie lands on Long Island anymore. We have lots of townhouses – beautifully done as they are, with their non-native plants and an environmental assessment of “no significant environmental impact.” To whom has there been no impact?

And we don’t have Ruffed Grouse. 

It was interesting (and sadly frustrating) to read John’s historic diary of the Ruffed Grouse and the notes shared by the terrific environmentalists of today that are in our midst – Shai Mitra, Byron Young, John Turner – to name a few. This education is imperative! 

Great South Bay Audubon Society is very grateful to the people who go out each December on the Christmas Bird Count who observe and tabulate so much information. We proudly support this endeavor, as several of our members are out there counting and we support the event financially – thanks to the generosity of our members

Few members ever take advantage of the resources we have in our library at Brookside County Park. The library is extensive in resources. We also have current and past issues of The Kingbird, by New York State Ornithological Society and Living Bird from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Few members take advantage of our monthly meeting at Seatuck Environmental Center. You get a double when you come to our meeting – actually a triple. You get to learn from great speakers, find out all the terrific things Seatuck is doing – and fellowship with good people.

Please check out Brookside on Sunday or Wednesday afternoons – the park itself and the resources. Come to our monthly meetings on the third Thursday of the month to learn more about what is happening and how you can help change the course of the wind.

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