Happy Earth Day!
Today the pastures of Swoope are a brilliant, emerald-green. I can see forever north with the Allegheny Mountains to the west and white puffy clouds with flat bottoms overhead. The sight fills me with wonder. We have so much to be thankful for, in the stewardship of the Earth and today, I officially release my book, Swoope Almanac, Stories of Love, Land, and Water, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Here’s a taste of Swoope:
There is a special day each spring that is magical. That’s the first day of the year I notice the earth is really on the move. It’s not necessarily the day the first daffodil blooms or the first warm day of spring. It’s a day when the energy of life seems to be surging in every creature. Every bird is singing, plants are growing, snakes are sunning, and bees are buzzing. You can see it, hear it, smell it, and feel it. We don’t have a word for it, but I know when it happens. This day often corresponds to the day most students skip school. I call this “Spring Surge Day,” and in Swoope, Virginia, it’s usually the day Tree Swallows arrive from Central America to stake out their nesting territories (pg 96).
Earth Day 2019. Over the weekend we received an inch of rain. Yellow Warblers, Gray Catbirds, and Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers arrived last night. A thousand daffodils bloom in our yard. There must be fifty different kinds. Jeanne loves to walk around making bouquets to give away.
Book Release Day
Earth Day 2019 is the official release day for my book. Thanks to each and every one of you who have pre-ordered. The limited edition, hardback copies will arrive any day now from the bindery. As soon as I get them I will be mailing them to you. Thank you for your patience. I also want to thank all the organizations helping to promote the book. Friends of Middle River, National Association of Conservation Districts, the Downstream Project, and the Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley have already promoted the release on their social media outlets— thank you!
I have the paperbacks and at the moment, only sell them at events. The next event will take place on April 28 at the Skipping Rock Brewery starting at 2 pm. The Brewery is just west of Staunton. The paperbacks will be available online after we sell the hardbacks. So, come by the brewery, drink great beer, and get an autographed copy of the paperback version of the book. They sell for $19.95 plus tax. They make great gifts!
We have come a long way since the first Earth Day in 1970.
Our rivers are cleaner now than they were in 1970. And we have an American Bald Eagle nesting on the farm. How cool is that? Without the courage of environmental activists—like you, environmental organizations like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act, we would not have eagles in Swoope.
The challenges we face today for a healthier environment can be solved. But we need all hands on deck. Climate change and plastic, water, and air pollution are significant issues. Using sound science and working together I am confident we can solve these issues. Water quality improvement in the Chesapeake Bay is a world-class example. The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is working! The Bay continues to improve because we use science-based solutions and we work together.
What Can You Do?
Join any number of many environmental organizations that fight for sustainability, they need our support.
Plant trees, adopt a buffer, go solar, use less plastic, convert some of your lawn to native plants, take a kid fishing, buy one of my books—we’ll plant a tree for you.
Congratulations Bobby! Perfect day for the release of your new book. Wish you much success with it.
Thank you, Jeff!
Yes, Congrats. for your uplifting observations of Spring and of progress in Va. since that 1st Earth Day; I remember that day well as a senior at Va. Tech, along with troubling issues of the time. Yes, many groups and leaders deserve thanks. Today, with the ugliness in D.C., I suggest we thank the Mtn./Valley upstart from Big Stone Gap- Linwood Holton- who in 1970 was the *first Republican to ever win the popular election as Governor of Va. Yes, he was old-school in ways; but, he invigorated the Va. administration and environmental programs, appointed effective staff and worked with the many new Federal laws and permits, esp. the Water Pollution Control Act of 1972. He appointed an energetic nuclear engineer from Fairfax County- Mr. Noman Cole- as Chairman of the State Water Control Board. His strong team pushed along (&/or pulled through) many water pollution and drinking water projects and even said- Yes, we’ll see a swim-able Potomac and James River! Consider – Va. conservatives were conservationists too!
John, good history lesson there. Thank you.
I am looking forward to reading your book. I am proud of all you have accomplished and hope you continue to make a big impact on the environment.
Thanks, Charlie. Always good to hear from you and thanks for posting.
Congrats Bobby! I’m really looking forward to reading what I’m certain will be a lovingly detailed and artistic description of this unique area of the Valley. Excellent photos here too–the top one is a perfect summary of what makes Swoope special. Plus the eagles, who are daily benefitting from your hard work in protecting the integrity of our waterways. Cheers my friend!
Bill, thanks so much for posting your kind comments. Good to hear from you.
Well, AT LAST you’ve written the book!
I can’t imagine what took you so long. You have so much to say!
At 83, I’m traveling light, so will wait for the paperback, thanks.
I have a view and sometimes eagles too, right here at the north edge of H’burg.
It so heartening to see at least ONE species doing better than they were in my youth.
Anne, thanks for checking in. I’ll let you know when the paperbacks go online. I pick the hardbacks up on the 7th of May. Glad for your view, the Eagle, and your good health.
I think that its cool that you released you book on Earth Day. I think that it is even cooler that you all plant a tree for every purchased book. That right there makes me want to buy it. Next spring, I am going to keep an eye out for this “Spring Surge Day.” I think I definitely know the feeling you are talking about, I just haven’t put it on a specific day. Its interesting that it also often corresponds to the day that kids skip school – seems like we all get the feeling but maybe don’t even realize it.