Monday Morning Musings

Here in my little corner of East Texas we dodged a weather bullet this weekend. There was the possibility of ice and maybe snow, and while I wouldn’t have minded the snow, I was not eager to go slipping and sliding down the path to the barn. Luckily, the really nasty stuff stayed north and west of us. Saturday night I was able to get to town to see Rhett Butler in concert. If you have never seen him or heard his music, you are missing out. He plays guitar – sometimes two at one time – and the music is magical.

So how was your weekend? Before you read on, how about a glass of hot cider to keep warm this chilly morning?

What I’m reading: I just finished Prayer for the Dying by Pete Brassett. It’s an intriguing short mystery set in Ireland and I enjoyed it very much. Now I’m reading No Telling by Parris Afton Bonds. Many moons ago I was in a writing group with her in the Dallas area, and it has been a long time since I read one of her books. This story line that has a mystery element appealed to me, and so far it is a pretty good read.

PHOTO: Rachel CarsonCelebrating Strong Women: It is especially significant to me to showcase Rachel Louise Carson today. She is noted for her dedication to environmental issues, which is something I greatly admire. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1907 and died in 1964.

Carson graduated from Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham College) in 1929, studied at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and received her MA in zoology from Johns Hopkins University in 1932.
She was hired by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries to write radio scripts during the Depression and supplemented her income writing feature articles on natural history for the Baltimore Sun. She began a fifteen-year career in the federal service as a scientist and editor in 1936 and rose to become Editor-in-Chief of all publications for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

She wrote extensively about environmental issues, and in 1952 her prize-winning study of the ocean, The Sea Around Us, was published. That book, along with The Edge of the Sea that came out in 1955, made Carson famous as a naturalist and science writer. Carson resigned from government service in 1952 to devote herself to her writing. A later book, Silent Spring, documented the devastating effects of pesticides like DDT on birds and the environment, and the revelations helped in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

In 1952  she was given the  National Book Award for Non-fiction for The Sea Around Us. That year she also received the John Burroughs Medal, the Henry Grier Bryant Gold Medal, Geographical Society New York Zoological Society Gold Medal, and she was awarded a Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for research on tidal life.

Carson died in 1964 after a long battle against breast cancer.

What a great role model she is for all of us to work harder to protect our world and all its living creatures.

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