Monday, February 10, 2014

Maurice McClue

Photo with permission by Sally Schenkel


Dear Friends,

Every once in while I like to pull Maurice McClue's journal off my shelf. It is a lovely hard cover book that I received as a gift from Aaron and Karen. It is a compilation of 38 years of bird watching and nature in Angola. Terri Gorney did the transcribing.

Maurice kept detailed notes of nature including poetry and thoughts of wisdom for almost forty years. I guess he would be the Aldo Leopold of northern Indiana.

In 1991 eighty acres of his land was dedicated as a State Dedicated Nature Preserve by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

This land is open for hiking, writing, dreaming, picture taking, or just wandering about. 

I would love to quote from his journal entry of February 4, 1936:

"This winter up to this time has been one of the most severe I have any memory of, and it would seem that the birds had a premonition it was coming in that very few could be seen during the last few months. Cardinals that have been in town every winter for several years are not here this winter. Food supply largely determines whether birds stay in a country through a winter or not. The winter of 1911 and 1912 was a very long cold winter with much zero weather and yet robins, cardinals and other birds were here all winter..."

I have noticed only a couple of cardinals at my feeders this winter as well, although the sparrows eat all day long. Woodpeckers have also charmed me this winter!

I know there is a copy of this journal at the Angola Carnegie Library as well as in my library. Stop by some day and I will be happy to share it with you.

Until tomorrow,

Lou Ann