|New Pioneers Columns|
Some of our well-loved columns that appear as "New Pioneers Notes" in The Springfield Sun.
"Fracking!" What is it? I was introduced to the word "fracking," "fracing," or specifically "hydraulic fracturing" in my efforts to protect and preserve the water in the Ogallala aquifer, which lies beneath two-thirds of the state of Nebraska. It is the largest fresh water aquifer in the world and sustains one-fourth of the nation's agricultural production. It is renewable only by rain and snow run-off.
The first Earth Day was officially held on April 22, 1970. However, this day evolved over seven years when Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1962 encouraged President Kennedy to spotlight the environment in the U.S. At Senator Nelson’s urging, President Kennedy in 1963, went on a five-day eleven-state conservation tour and planted the seed for the eventual Earth Day as we know it.
After weeks of mostly grey rainy weather and sleep interrupted by tornado alerts, sunshine in the window feels like a blessing from the god of Spring. Ten plus inches of rain had all the animals hunched up in bunches staggering around in soggy coats, with droopy heads. Today they stand broadside to the sun, soaking in the warmth. The gardeners have all been droopy too, unable to get their hands dirty, early sets washed out, muddy lettuce and carefully prepared rows floated away.
Mother Nature has been making up for last summer’s August drought the last few months with the snowiest January and February in years, and now after 48 hours of rain, the creek on Furman Lane is rolling brown and full, cleaning out a year’s worth of leaves and branches. The cows are gathered down in the hollow out of the wind, their backs matted and shiny wet after an all night drenching. They chew their cud and silently watch me go down the lane in the car on my weekly garbage run. If I were in the white truck, they would call out a “Where’s the hay?” chorus and rush to the nearest fence, but they know I’m not the dinner wagon.
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