Thursday, November 4, 2010

Last Chance to See


The small book was given to me as a gift. I'd never read the author before. I never read Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. Never saw the movie. Doug Adams was a complete stranger to me, that is until I stepped into New Zealand in Last Chance to See.

Doug Adams and photographer Mark Carwardine traveled to New Zealand to actually take a last chance to see.....a last chance for Doug Adams.

The beginning of this book began when the two aforementioned men placed pins in the locations they wanted to visit where wildlife was struggling to exist. These conservationist did not go to point a finger at man but to raise awareness of what we were losing. Their journey oddly enough took me back to Neff Road.

My dad was an early conservationist. I was taught at an early age to respect birds, bugs and animals. A nest was not to be disturbed. Bugs were essential to nature. Some ate bad bugs. Some disposed of waste. All of nature worked together. I was taught that trees are essential not only to wildlife but to man as well. Even though trees had to be cleared for farm land, Dad knew the importance of the woods, the underbrush. He believed in protecting habitat. He planted a woods on our farm. He was progressive in his farming rotating crops and later planting to deter erosion. Sadly, little was known of the affect of pesticides back then.

Doug Adams took me on a journey to see animals I didn't know existed. Some of the pictures would be the last of the animals soon to be extinct. He took me to a country that was wild and wonderful. In 2002, two years after the book was in print, the Brit died at age forty-nine. Still his work is pertinent today.

I think Dad would have appreciated Doug Adams' work. In fact, I could envision my father loving a career involving nature and protecting it. Maybe he knew that in what he taught me, I in turn would pass it on to my grandchildren.

Hugging a tree is not passé. I hug them with my grandchildren thanking God for what it means me. I look to the sky when a flock of geese fly over. I could sit for hours looking out over an ocean that holds mystery and awe. I catch spiders in the house and set them free outside. My Dad gave me roots in nature. Doug Adams reminded me embrace what we have, because it could be gone tomorrow.,

We are tied to the earth. In turn it is tied to us.

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