The sun invited me to walk down to Picnic Point Beach on Puget Sound.  One of the great pleasures of a Northwest wooded path is that it can lead to the expanse of the Sound. One of the finest examples of this type of trail in Snohomish County is at Meadowdale Park.  Usually a path by the Sound slopes downward and follows a creek.  The one at Meadowdale is a mile down, but also a mile straight up again - some of it quite steep. All of it heavily wooded and lovely. Not there this day, however. I enjoyed the noisy gurgling of the creek as it rushed along, hurrying me onward to the rocky shoreline.  The tide was still low, but with sunshine and warmth, I certainly found plenty of folks to share the views and excitement of looking across the blue waters to the snow caps of the Olympics.  Fishing craft lined up,creating white parallel lines across the waves.  "Shrimping," an elderly gentleman reported.  "Too early for crab."  My two dogs cavorted, cheerfully dashing at the incoming tide, becoming sand covered and smelly.  Loving it!   
 
 
For the past thirty years, I have been fortunate to live in the Northwest.  I am a retired school teacher of English and History, including 4 years of Special Education.  Upon retirement, I became more of an advocate for the environment.  With the advent of the Growth Management Act and a steaming economy, developers and the County planners posted, seemingly overnight, signs for building on every tree.  With so much of the remaining natural areas of the County diminishing or growing more and more stressed,I wanted to do what I could to make a difference in protecting the natural beauty and the richness of our valuable resources - our watersheds, the greenery,animal habitats and Puget Sound.  I did not want to stand by and fail to speak out at the irresponsible and blatant harm that was occurring.  Perhaps the birth of my first grandchild made my personal responsibility more clear.  I attended classes at the University of Washington Law School to hear West Coast experts describe climate change and propose action steps. I listened gratefully to leaders that I found in the community - folks like Kirstin Kelly of Futurewise, Tom Murdoch of the Adopt-A-Stream Foundation, Janet Carroll of the Mukilteo Wildlife Habitat Project, and more that you can find on my Links page.  That is "more", but not comprehensive. Through the League of Women Voters of Snohomish County, I worked with a committee to put on our own Climate Change Forum, entitled "Do Take It Personally".  Our mission was to empower the public with information on what they could do to facilitate change.  More than ever, I am convinced that when enough good people hear the "Songs of the Northwest Woods"- perhaps their own melody, they, too, will want to find ways to preserve and conserve the loveliness, diversity and health of this precious planet Earth. Thus, I bring to you some of what I hear and some of what I learned and continue to learn. What you have before you is a small fraction of the writings that I have undertaken.  My dream is to see a book published with poems, descriptions and reflections that can be dedicated to saving our urban lands in such a way that we and our children grow increasingly respectful of nature and the web that links us all together. Thank you for reading my work and sharing with me this joy of discovery!